The importance of independent financial advice

How you go about turning your pension savings into a retirement income is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make – potentially determining your financial security for the rest of your life.

With a number of options available and the market in a state of transition, it’s more important than ever to seek professional, impartial advice before making a commitment.

Independent vs Restricted advice

Advice around what to do with your pension savings can come from many sources – your bank or pension provider, annuity brokers and professional financial advisors. However, these sources may not be offering a full picture of your options.

When seeking financial advice from any professional source, one of the first questions you should ask is whether the advisor is independent or restricted. A restricted advisor can only offer advice on a limited range of products or providers – banks and brokers can often only offer restricted advice.

Only an independent financial advisor (IFA) can offer a complete, impartial picture of your retirement options. Because they’re not tied to any particular product or company, they’re free to explore the whole market and make unbiased, personally tailored recommendations with your best interests at the highest priority.

The open market option

It’s estimated that around one in three people still fail to shop around before buying an annuity from their pension provider. The open market option describes every British retiree’s right to search the market for the best annuity rates – or alternative retirement income options – rather than accepting the quote offered by their existing provider.

Annuity rates can vary considerably across different providers, in some cases by as much as 40 per cent. If you fail to fully explore the market, you could be costing yourself £1,000s over the course of your retirement in lost income.

Whether you wish to find the best annuity rates or want to explore a full range of retirement options, an Independent Financial Advisor can offer personally tailored quotes and impartial recommendations based on a careful analysis of the whole market.

Finding an independent financial advisor

When you’re looking for an independent financial advisor, you should always ensure that they’re fully qualified, with a Diploma-level certification in financial planning or similar. They should also be in possession of a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) issued by an FCA-accredited body.

At My Pension Choices, we only work with fully accredited, FCA-approved independent financial advisors. When you use our free service we’ll connect you to an IFA operating in your area. All of our IFAs promise a free, no-obligation initial consultation to be conducted face to face or over the telephone, and guarantee total transparency in terms of costs for any products, services or follow-up consultations.


Get connected to an independent retirement specialist in your area and claim your free consultation.

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If you have any questions or concerns, call us on 0800 008 6065 to speak to a member of our team.