Why Will No One Help Me Cash In My Pension?

There’s a growing trend at the moment that’s beginning to prove tiresome for thousands of final salary pension holders in the UK. Specifically, a growing string of reports from those concerned suggest that cautious advisers are making it difficult or even impossible for people to cash in their final salary pensions. While some are sceptical, others are comprehensively refusing to work with them, due to growing fears of compensation claims.

For those who have a final salary pension – a plan where income following retirement is determined by how long the individual was working with their employer – transferring their savings into a different plan is their full legal right. Despite the fact that these kinds of pensions are seen as highly-attractive – guaranteed, inflation-linked income – they are comparatively tax-inefficient and do not allow savers to access their cash in lump sums. As such, thousands of final salary pension savers are making the decision to cash in or move their savings elsewhere.

The only problem being that advisers are showing reluctance to offer the required help and support. It is now a legal requirement for professional financial advice to be sought before transfers involving sums of more than £30,000 are permitted – thus putting many savers in a somewhat difficult position.

Why?

Well, for the most part it comes down to a simple case of advisers covering their own backs. Technically speaking, an adviser can action a final salary pension transfer at the request of a client, even if they don’t believe it to be a good idea. When this has happened in the past, it’s been typical for the client to then hold the adviser responsible, should they face any kind of shortfalls or issues subsequently. So common has this been the case that billions of pounds in compensation have been paid by advisers to their clients, despite having acted in accordance with their instructions and wishes.

Now though, advisers are being more cautious. Quite simply, if you have a final salary pension scheme and wish to cash it in, they are only likely to advise and assist you if they believe it is a good decision. If not, they won’t go near it – the risk of repercussions being too high.

For the most part, experts have shown support to the advisers making these decisions on the part of the clients, in order to avoid unwise action being taken.

“If advisers are saying no, they are professionals and they will be coming to that conclusion for very good reasons. Those reasons will be all to do with protecting the consumer,” commented Fiona Tait of Intelligent Pensions.

However, many savers have labelled the whole thing ludicrous – insisting that they and they alone should have the last word when it comes to their own pensions. Even if the process was to involve signing a disclaimer to remove all responsibility from the adviser should the long-term outcome prove negative, they believe the decision is theirs to make – not that of the adviser.

For more information on final salary pensions, transfers or savings of any kind, get in touch with the Haven IFA team today.