Do I need a financial adviser for pension advice?

  • Financial planning
  • 5 minute read

We all hope that our retirement will be spent doing the things that we’ve always wanted to do, taking time to relax, and making time for what matters most. In employment, you have a salary to provide you with a sense of security, but in retirement, your income will be dependent on the careful financial planning that you have put in place throughout your working life.

If you’re considering making adjustments to your existing plan, taking a more active interest in what your pension is invested in, or considering your options for taking your pension, then you might be wondering whether you should approach a financial adviser.

In this article, we will explore the various instances where it may be helpful to work with a financial adviser and what the benefits of financial advice can be. Professional advice isn’t always necessary, but it can help you feel more confident when making important decisions about your pension and retirement plans.

How an adviser can help

There are some circumstances where it can be particularly worthwhile approaching a professional for pension advice.

These include;

  • Deciding when and how to take your retirement income,
  • Purchasing an annuity,
  • Choosing your investments,
  • Planning your inheritance and estate.

Taking your pension is a big step, and there are a few options for how to do so. It is therefore vital that you take a variety of factors into account before you make your decision. Pension schemes and providers offer different options, and you can often mix and match.

Your potential options

With a defined contribution (DC) pension, it is possible to combine options, such as buying an annuity and putting your remaining savings into flexi access drawdown. A financial adviser can help you make sense of how and when you can access your pension.

One option can include cashing in your pension, which we’ll explain in more detail in a later section of this article, as it involves certain legal requirements, depending on the pension type. There are also tax implications when receiving a large lump sum from your pension, which a financial adviser can help you understand.

If you’d prefer to keep most of your pension invested, many DC pension schemes offer a flexible drawdown option, which allows you to withdraw small amounts of your pension regularly, whilst keeping the majority of your capital invested. When you are of retirement age, this will allow you to adjust your income and investment strategy over time, as your circumstances change. The benefit of a financial adviser in this case, is that they can help you to determine the amount needed to be withdrawn, to suit your lifestyle. You can also read more about pension drawdown here.

A financial adviser can provide you with valuable advice, if you’re considering purchasing an annuity. This isn’t always the most flexible option, but it can guarantee an income for the rest of your life. A financial adviser will take your circumstances into consideration to help you to find the most suitable annuity for you and will also help you to find the best rate out there.

An adviser can also take the stress out of estate and inheritance planning, helping you to draw up plans regarding what you want to happen to your assets, including your pension and investments, when you’re no longer around. As daunting as it may sound, it’s never too early to start planning for this eventuality and if you’re unsure of where to start, a professional can point you in the right direction.

If you aren’t yet ready to take your pension, but are planning ahead for your retirement, an adviser can help you to ensure your investments match your goals and attitude to risk. They can help you review your pension investments to make sure they’re suited to your life stage and plan, and adjust them if that changes.

What are the benefits of pension financial advice?

Accessing financial advice from a professional can help to steer you and your pension in the right direction. Some of these benefits include:

  • Finding the best investments for you and your financial circumstances
  • Understanding how your investments match your attitude to risk
  • Staying on top of changes to pension legislation

Since financial advisers take your financial circumstances into account, along with a variety of other factors that are personal to you, they can help you to find the best investments and help to reduce the risk of losing your capital to meet your retirement goals.

Is a financial adviser required for my pension?

The situations mentioned above indicate how a financial adviser can be helpful when making fundamental decisions with regards to your pension and retirement planning, however it is not always necessary to seek professional advice. You can manage a self-invested personal pension (SIPP), workplace, or stakeholder pension plan independently, if you’re comfortable making your own investment decisions.

However, this is often not advisable. Transferring your pensions this way cannot be undone, and although there may be more flexibility with a DC pension, you must meet certain criteria and will be at mercy of the financial markets. Working with a financial adviser will help you to explore the risks involved with this complex transaction, and ensure you don’t lose any valuable benefits.

What is right for you

Ultimately, you could decide to go it alone when making decisions regarding your pension, however, if you aren’t an experienced investor, or don’t have a good understanding of the different income options at retirement, it can be a good idea to seek professional advice.  

Having a professional by your side might offer you the reassurance that you’re making the right decisions for your retirement, and ensure that you are on track to achieve the comfortable retirement that you have worked so hard for.

Our financial advisers can provide you with tailored, unbiased help, giving you peace of mind and valuable support when you need it. To find out more or if you have any questions about financial advice, contact us to find out how we can help.


Capital at risk. Any tax benefits will depend on your personal tax position and rules are subject to change.

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