You know you should sort out your pension, right? I’m not talking only about the monthly sum going in your pension fund. Here, I’m talking about finding all these pension pots you forgot about long ago and finding the best deals around. You want to know how you can get this done with ease and to great benefit? Keep reading.
It is foolish to live your life with no consideration for the future. And whatever else your future may hold, one thing is certain: you will get older and you will need a nest egg to provide you with the means to live.
My regular readers know that I’ve always believed that in our old age we need money to live on; pensions are only one of the financial instruments to make sure that we don’t run out of money before we run out life.
Having said that, it is important to sort out your pension. Getting your pensions in order is not only about making sure that you are saving regularly.
Sorting out your pensions is also about making sure that:
- You have claimed all pension pots that have your name on them; and
- You are getting the best pension deal around.
Surprised? Shouldn’t be.
It is estimated that at the moment in the UK there are £400 million in unclaimed pension pots – one, or more, of these pension pots may be yours. It is also very likely that you can get a much better pension deal if you ‘shop’ around; for instance, you can find a pension fund that returns better, has lower fees, has more flexible access conditions etc.
Neither finding your unclaimed pension pots nor spotting a better pension deal is straightforward. Quite the reverse – it is time consuming and demands knowledge and competencies we do not necessarily possess.
This means only one thing: to sort out your pension you need professional help.
This is why I’m excited to tell you about Profile Pensions: in their own words, a service that provides ‘straight-talking pensions advice’. I reckon that by using the services offered by Profile Pensions anyone could sort out their pension with ease and efficiency.
(You know that I never tell you on The Money Principle about financial instruments I have not tried and I don’t use. I tested Profile Pensions but I am not one of the people to benefit from using their service. I’m very certain that I have only one pension in the UK and it is easily one of the best around – the Profile Pensions’ adviser I talked to confirmed that.)
Now let me tell you a bit more about Profile Pensions.
What do Profile Pensions offer?
Profile Pensions provide two kinds of services to clients.
- First, they find your pensions. Yes, including the pension pots that you have long forgotten. According to their own stats, the average size of the pension pots they find is £25,000. This is nothing to be sniffed at, right?
- And second, the Profile Pensions advisers offer impartial advice on switching your pension to a better provider so that you maximise its value. They also arrange everything around the switch.
This is it. Two services that can help you sort out your pension with ease and to benefit.
How does it work?
Once you are on the website of Profile Pensions, I’d urge you to read a bit more about what they offer and other relevant information – there is a lot of information on the site including a blog covering different issues around pensions. This will help you make up your mind and decide whether you’d benefit from the services on offer.
Once you’ve decided to use the services offered by Profile Pensions you need to fill in a simple on-line form. Naturally, you start from the beginning so you get to the form by clicking a green button saying ‘Find pensions’. Submit the form.
Soon after you’d receive two further forms (by e-mail and post). These forms need to be signed by you because they authorise Profile Pensions to start tracing your pensions. Sign and send back.
Profile Pensions trace all your pension pots, review the provisions you have and come up with suggestions how to maximise the value of your pension(s).
Finally, a highly qualified and understanding (I know this from experience) pensions adviser phones you for a chat during which they discuss your options.
You get all this with no obligation to take the last step and switch your pension. In fact, you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to.
How easy is it to use?
Using Profile Pensions is easy; very easy.
Let’s put it like this: the hardest question on the on-line form was to decide when I want to retire (torn between the temptation to retire immediately and some semblance of realism).
The rest is not rocket science either. Thinking about it though, you need to know the basics about pensions and how to discriminate between different pension provisions.
How much would it cost you?
This is the best part of it: you can have your pension pots traced, your pension provisions assessed and a consultation with a pensions adviser without paying a penny.
You will pay a fee only if, and when, you decide to switch your pension to another provider. In this case you’ll be charged 2.95% of the amount transferred (applied only to the first £75,000 you transfer) and this will be deducted from your pension.
You may also choose to the on-going advice service and this will cost you 0.6% per year deducted from your pension.
Why should you trust Profile Pensions?
This is a good question, my friend. I thought you’d never ask.
I know you may be a bit suspicious about financial advisers, about pensions advisers and about web-based advice services. I know I am and I always look for ‘legitimacy’ signs.
Here is why, I believe, you can trust Profile Pensions:
#1. They are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).
#2. They have many happy customers already. Let’s put it this way – their Trustpilot score is 9.5 (from 590 reviews). There is only one review that is one star and one two stars (yes, I checked).
#3. They are not paid by anyone else than the customers who decide to switch. This tells me that their recommendations are really tailored with your best interest in mind.
#4. They review the major kinds of pensions and work with the major pension providers.
And if convincing you will take more doing, you could always read some of the reviews that Profile Pensions customers left.
You’d benefit from using Profile Pension if:
- You have changed jobs more than three times during your working life so far. I told you that I’ve had only one employer (universities in the UK) and this is why it is not worth me using the service. This is very rare though; most of us would have change employers well over five times. This is how you can lose track of your pension provisions.
- You have many pension pots. Often consolidating you pension is beneficial because you lower fees and can maximise returns.
- You have concerns about your current pension scheme. If you are concerned, you need help to shop around for better provider.
- You cannot afford to pay for wealth planning. Pension advice and wealth planning don’t come cheap. They certainly don’t often come free.
How about the competition?
Thing is that I don’t believe that there is another service that provides what Profile Pensions offers.
There is the Pensions Tracing Service that is also free. The difference is that using this service requires a lot of forensic work from you.
There are services that offer free guidance on pensions, like Pension Wise, but this is general and may not apply to your case. There are also websites that write about and compare pension providers but there is no personal assessment.
So, no; I don’t think there is competition now.
Look, your pension is a serious matter. There is no way out of it: you have to sort out your pension.
First and foremost, you ought to make sure that you pay into it every month without fail. But this is not what this article is about – this is entirely up to you.
Next, you also have to ensure that you don’t mislay your pension by forgetting this pension pot you started 15 years ago; and that you don’t allow the finance industry to eat into your future by charging you large fees for modest returns.
Now this, you need help with. There is a service that can help you sort out your pension with ease.
No brainer, I think.