14 Aug 2019

Mackenzie hit gold! We’ve been awarded the pension transfer gold standard.

Pensions and the legislation around them have become more and more complex over recent years; pension transfers in particular can be complicated, and there are lots of things to think about before going ahead with transferring your pension.

It is for that reason that the Government recently made it a legal requirement to seek financial advice before you can transfer your pension if you have what’s called ‘safeguarded benefits’ – usually in the form of a company pension that defines your pension in terms of your final salary – or a guaranteed annuity rate – and your benefits are worth £30,000 or more.

It’s worth pointing out at this stage that although there’s a legal requirement to take advice if you’re considering transferring these sorts of benefits, we feel that anybody considering transferring any sort of pension should take expert advice.

At Mackenzie, we pride ourselves on our high standards, and in spring 2018 paraplanners Jane and David completed level 6 qualifications which bring them in line with financial planner Paul’s pension transfer specialism. It’s important to us that our whole team is qualified and competent to a high level to ensure that our clients get the very best outcomes and the benefit of more than one pair of eyes when it comes to the really technical stuff.

We recently welcomed the announcement from the professional body for the financial advisory profession in the UK – the PFS – that they are establishing a voluntary code of good conduct for Safeguarded and Defined Benefit Transfers advice. – The gold standard.

We see this as a positive way to enable consumers to see exactly which firms are able to deliver the highest levels of service and advice in this area.

And although we are confident that we have been delivering these standards for quite some time, it was our pleasure to be one of the first firms to be awarded the Gold Standard.

It’s business as usual at Mackenzie though, as Paul explains:

“We see these standards as the very minimum our clients should expect. We’re always working to move forward and develop new and better standards which benefit all of our clients. So whether a client may benefit from a pension transfer, or whether we recommend that they keep their pension benefits where they are, our clients can be confident that they’re getting the very best technical assessment and unrivalled financial planning advice.”

More about the Pension Transfer Gold Standard

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.

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 outcome.