My answer to this question on the first day of Advent 2019 is very different from the answer I’d given a year ago.
Back then I was confident that TPAS, which was about to become the Single Financial Guidance Body would deliver something to consumers. 2019 has seen a lot of changes of name but no progress on strategy.
So let me ask you a simple question – “What’s worrying you?”
If you are under fifty, I would expect you to be worrying about saving enough to retire and that most of your questions are about three things
What have I got?
What do I need?
What can I do to bridge the gap between the two?
If you are over 50, I’d expect you to be starting to think about what you are going to do with the money you’ve saved and how to structure the balance between a wage from work and a wage from savings and pensions.
So who should I talk to?
If your are under 50, the first thing you need to do is to work out what you’ve saved, who you’ve saved it with and get your pots organised.
Here are your options;
- If you have an IFA, start here; your IFA can help you find your pensions, work with you to bring your money into one place and help you get a pension strategy to get you where you want to go.
- If you don’t have an IFA, you may be able to find one. You can go the conventional route and of the financial adviser services available on the web, MAPS’ is probably the best.
- If you want to go to a new style tech-enabled adviser, I’d suggest tow
- OpenMoney is geared to provide financial advice to the masses , you can hear boss Anthony Morrow, talking about his plans here
- If you want to do things using a phone- app, try multiply.ai
- If you don’t want an IFA but a pension provider who will help you find your pensions and bring them together – give PensionBee a call or download their app
- If all you are wanting to do is save more , don’t look past your workplace pension. If you haven’t got access to one (you’re self or unemployed) then NEST is open to the self-employed and Vanguard look set to launch a simple SIPP in the new year. Don’t expect PensionBee quality service but the prices will be more competitive
- If you want a Rolls Royce investment platform with prices to match – Hargreaves Lansdown still rule the roost
If you are over 50 your options are different
My first recommendation is that anyone over 50 get a conversation with Pensions Wise, if only to get a platform for future discussions. You can phone 0800 138 3944 or book a phone appointment online.
What you’ll get is a scripted conversation after which you should be clear of what your next steps are. What you won’t get is the provision of a clear course of action – advice.
When it comes to advice, you aren’t going to be spoiled for choice. IFAs will welcome you with open arms , if you have over £100,000 in savings but if you haven’t, you’ll have to wait for the likes of OpenMoney and Multiply AI to launch their at retirement services.
If you are thinking of buying an annuity today or tomorrow – call Retirement Line.
In the new year Hub Financial Solutions will be offering an online service which will offer drawdown, annuity and equity release options.
And if you aren’t interested in doing anything, you can leave it to your existing pension providers, most of whom are waking up to the opportunity of keeping you as a customer for life.
But perhaps the most important inquiry you can make in 2020 is the one about your state pension rights . Check your state pension here
And what about that dashboard?
Early this year I went to the DWP to witness the re-launch of the much delayed Pensions Dashboard. I asked of the CEO of MAPS if he’d please get on with it. He told me delivering the dashboard was his number one priority. A couple of months he’d been sacked and the dashboard is still in the first stages of planning.
Fortunately, some of the people who have been helping us bring our pensions together are on the implementation board of the dashboard, including Romi Savova (Pensionbee), Sam Seaton (MoneyHub) and Will Lovegrove (Pensionsync).
I don’t think we’ll get much help from the dashboard in 2020 and that’s because MAPS is in such a mess it can’t even organise its way to a new CEO (6 months after the last one left).
Despite the energy of the Pensions Minister , the last three years have been wasted and we are really no further down the line than we were this time 2016.
It’s the first day of Advent, your thoughts are turning to new year resolutions and between now and 31st December you have a chance to work out what you are going to wish for.
I hope that when I write this blog in December 2020, you’ll be saying – “why didn’t you mention AgeWage?”. Well that’s because I don’t want to be the umpteenth person over the past two weeks to over- promise.
But if you read my blog, it is because you recognise that there is nothing I would like so much as to be the first person you turn to when you ask