Pension Transfer Gold Standard
”Helping you recognise good practice, ethical and professional standards when seeking financial advice on pension transfers”
The team at Longhurst are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Pension Transfer Gold Standard by the Pensions Advice Taskforce, a representative industry body set up by the Personal Finance Society.
Why is this important?
The Pensions Advice Taskforce has just established a voluntary code of good conduct for Safeguarded and Defined Benefit Pension Transfers.
Financial advice firms who adopt and promote this standard adhere to a set of principles. As a result you can be confident that you are dealing with an ethical adviser and professional advice firm that has your best interests at heart when receiving financial advice in relation to whether or not you should transfer your pension.
Financial advice is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that already requires firms to adhere to some ‘core principles’, two of which are especially significant when it comes to complex pensions advice ike pension transfers.
- A firm must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly.
- A firm must pay due regard to the information needs of its clients and communicate information to them in a way which is clear, fair and not misleading.
If you are dealing with a financial advice firms adopting the Pension Transfer Gold Standard, you can expect they will exceed these requirements in their dealings with you. Specifically, they will:
- Help you understand the implications of a transfer, so you can decide whether taking advice is appropriate, before you take it and incur any costs in doing so.
- Ensure that the advice supports your overall wellbeing in the context of your stated objectives, needs and wants.
- Use appropriately qualified technical skills to advise on whether to transfer, and what to transfer into in order that you have the best chance of meeting your objectives.
- Only recommend mainstream investments from regulated investment companies (unless you are an expert investor).
- Be fully transparent and take necessary steps to ensure that you understand all the costs involved.
- Draw your attention to any Conflicts of Interest in giving pension transfer advice and how these are managed in your best interests.
- Share with you their experience and the outcomes of advising people on transfers.
You should be aware of guidance from the FCA that when giving advice in this area a financial adviser should start with the assumption that a transfer will be unsuitable due to the value of guaranteed benefits to be given up in the event of a transfer. As such, the advice you receive may be to do nothing and leave your benefits where they are.
The best next steps would be to engage in a positive and constructive discussion with a Pension Transfer Gold Standard adviser, who will take time to understand your current situation and future plans, then take time to fully explain your options.
Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.