Britons urged to get ‘expert guidance’ on pensions

Fraser Stewart, the co-founder of the financial planning platform Lyfeguard, said many Britons would benefit from getting advice from an independent financial adviser (IFA). He said getting professional advice can help put in place “long-term financial plans” for their later years.

Mr Stewart said IFAs can provide advice on a range of issues such as investments, savings and pensions.

He said: “IFAs can be an important resource for anyone who wants to make informed financial decisions and plan for their future. Research suggests that many Britons delay long-term financial planning decisions.”

He cited figures showing most Britons do not consider taking out a pension until they reach the age of 29.

Only 60 percent of those in their 30s have a pension plan in place and just 63 percent of those in their 40s and 50s have a plan.

Pension savers will soon have more leeway to invest in pension pots and avoid tax as the pensions annual allowance is to increase from £40,000 to £60,000, as announced in the Budget this past week.

READ MORE: State pension rates to rise next month – how much will your payment increase to?

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt also announced the pensions lifetime allowance is being scrapped entirely.

Mr Stewart said: “The advice of an independent financial adviser can help people create long-term financial plans that will set them up with strong foundations for their future.

“While there may be a stereotype that financial planning is only for the wealthy, it is an area that should be considered by all.”

People may want to get professional advice for aspects of pension planning such as workplace pensions and auto-enrolment as well as self-invested personal pensions.

Mr Stewart explained: “They [IFAs] can help clients to select the most appropriate pension plan based on their needs and goals and provide ongoing advice on managing and investing their pension assets.”

In a special episode of his ITV show after the Budget this week, financial journalist Martin Lewis encouraged people looking to reassess their pensions to consider talking to an IFA or a chartered financial planner.

Before approaching a particular IFA, a person should check the Financial Conduct Authority register to make sure they are registered.

Mr Stewart said it may be a good idea to get recommendations from family and friends to be sure an adviser provides a good quality service.

He said: “There are search engines people can use, such as, to find IFAs in the local area.

A person may also want to request references or testimonials from other clients and to find out how the adviser manages risk.

Lyfeguard is a tool that allows a user to store and share their financial information and legal documents, and share them with friends or their financial adviser.

Neil Rayner, head of Advice at True Potential, told a good adviser will help a person with aspects of their finances they otherwise struggle to manage.

He said: “A good financial adviser will be able to help with pensions, investments, mortgages, insurances, tax, inheritance and many other aspects of your financial life. Many of these are complicated topics that people don’t deal with regularly, but an adviser is working on them every day.

“Like a driving instructor, a good adviser will get you started, build your confidence and provide the tech and guidance so you can manage, monitor and make adjustments to your money directly without needing to call them every time you want to invest another £50.”

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