A better price. A better service. A better product. The three main reasons why people use comparison websites, generally all wrapped up in the phrase: “I want a better deal.”
And this is the same reason people should check their pensions more often, to make sure they have the best deal possible. Annoyingly, pensions can be very tricky to untangle and compare. That’s why it makes sense to ask a specialist to review your pension for you..
What is a no obligation pension check?
With a no obligation pension check the initial investigation into your pension should be free of charge. And in many cases you can access full advice with no obligation. That means you get a report clearly stating the adviser’s advice, and how much it would cost to follow that advice. Any fee would usually come out of your pension so there’s no extra money to find. Otherwise you can walk away fully informed with nothing to pay. If you have a defined benefit pension there is a chance you might not qualify for full advice with no obligation. In which case, after your initial check, your adviser should tell you how much it would cost to progress your pension review so you still have the option to walk away with nothing to pay.
When was your last pension service?
Servicing your car should mean peace of mind that everything is working properly and, as far as possible, you won’t get any nasty shocks that stop you getting from A to B in the foreseeable future. It’s useful to think of a pension review in a similar way. You’re making sure that what you’ve got is working and running as efficiently as possible. And if high charges, poor management or unsuitable investments mean your pension resembles a clapped-out Lada, the best fix is often to switch your pension to a better scheme.
Quick or slow: how does your pension provider compare?
When you ask a financial adviser to review your pension, their first task is to get all the information they need from your current scheme providers. Some providers take a few days. Others are less co-operative and can take months. This can have a huge impact on how long your pension review takes. And if the review shows that you will be better off switching your pension savings to a new scheme, then delays at this stage can be a frustrating financial drag. Where does your current pension provider sit on the 2018 league table?
The benefits of a tailored pension
When it comes to managing your pension, there are lots of moving parts: from your circumstances and plans, to available products and regulations. And most of these parts change and develop over time. Just think how your circumstances 5, 10 or even 20 years ago compare with where you are today. That’s why it’s vital to check your pension every couple of years or so, to make sure it remains tailored to you.
Why pension performance matters
Inflation means that every year life gets more expensive by about 2% (on average). And the minimum you really want is for your long-term savings to at least match inflation, so that the money you are saving retains its value for when you need it. Depending on how much risk you are prepared to take, you might want these savings to grow some more. Or, unwittingly you could be taking more investment risk than you are prepared to with your money.