The transfer of Defined Benefit (DB) pensions to Defined Contribution (DC) pensions has become increasingly complex in 2022. This shift is due to a number of factors, including the difficulty in obtaining quality advice from Independent Financial Advisers (IFA) or Pension Transfer Specialist (PTS) companies.
With financial advice costs on the rise, and more adviser firms closing down due to a decrease in the number of markets, it’s no wonder that people are struggling to make informed decisions about their pensions.
However, interest and activity in final salary transfers continues to grow year after year. Before we dive into this topic any further, we’d like to invite you to watch a video on the subject. This will give you a better understanding of what’s going on and how it might impact you.
Fixed Fee Final Salary Advice Costs
If you’re looking to move your final salary pension scheme that’s worth over £30,000, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires you to seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) or Pension Transfer Specialist (PTS).
These consulting services come at a cost, and the fee you’ll be charged by an IFA will depend on the type of fee calculation they use. Here are three common fee calculation methods:
- Commission-Based Fees: This type of fee is calculated as a percentage of the goal, which can vary widely depending on the ratios. Some people may have concerns about conflicts of interest with this method.
- Hourly-Based Fees: With this method, clients are charged based on the time spent in consultation. This allows for a more focused consultation and the flexibility to determine how many consultations are needed.
- Fixed Fees: With this method, clients know the fee amount upfront, which provides certainty and makes it easier for clients to manage their finances.
Why Fixed Fee Scheme Better Than Others?
The fixed fee contract scheme offers clear, measurable, and organized scenarios for both clients and advisors. Here’s why:
- Clarity of advice costs from the start, making it easier to manage your finances.
- Stability during uncertain economic conditions.
- Defined deadlines and measurable targets.
- Structured plans and opportunities for adaptations.
- Clients feel more comfortable facing future challenges.
While it’s true that the fixed fee is generally more expensive than other fee calculations, the added benefits make it a worthwhile investment, especially when considering the complexity, risk, and success involved in transferring a final salary pension scheme.
Reasons Why Fixed Fee Final Salary Advice Costs Soars
The fixed fee for final salary pension consultations by Independent Financial Advisors (IFA) continues to rise every year, as our CEO has explained in the video. When we first entered the industry, an authorized DB report cost £750, but today the average cost for final salary advice with a fixed fee is between £3,500-£4,000, which is a 367% increase. The reasons for the increase in fixed fees year after year include:
Just like with any other services or goods, the cost of IFA services also increases with inflation. Unfortunately, no IFA can avoid this.
Rising Transfer Values
The average final salary transfer value has been on the rise, particularly with members with large pension values choosing to transfer their retirement funds to a defined contribution (DC) scheme. Despite the fact that not many people make final salary transfers, the value of the transfers significantly affects the market.
Increasing Preference for DB Schemes
More and more people are choosing to stick with defined benefit pension schemes, a trend that has been going on for the past few years.
IFA Cost Recovery
IFA firms need to recover costs in various financing sectors, some of which are directly related to clients and influenced by factors discussed above. Other expenses are not directly related to clients but are related to the adviser’s ongoing adaptability.
Time-Consuming DB Transfer Process
Regulations make the DB transfer process both time-consuming and costly, for both clients and advisers. Advisor fees still apply even though they are not directly for the adviser.
A dedicated and consistent team is required to support and complete various administrative and communication tasks. The team behind the Pension Transfer Specialist (PTS) works around the clock to ensure all processes are running smoothly and successfully, which means tariffs.
What to Do Best With Your Final Salary Pension
The message we’ve been sharing in this article and on our YouTube channel is clear: the fixed fee for final salary pension transfer advice won’t be going down any time soon. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that can be changed with a snap of a finger.
It’s time to face the facts and stop hoping for a miracle. As a company specializing in pensions, we understand this reality all too well.
Instead of dwelling on the negative, it’s best to come up with a plan to handle the rising fixed fees. So, what’s the solution?
Don’t wait any longer. If you’re hoping for regulations to change and fees to become cheaper, you’ll only end up frustrated and with a lower Equivalent Transfer Value. Embrace the fact that the fixed fee will continue to increase.
Find a pension transfer specialist (PTS) that suits your needs as soon as possible. Be wary of companies offering very low prices, as these may not provide the stability and security you need. Choose a company that provides clear, unbiased cost information, has structured processes in place, and clear time targets.
It’s better to make the transfer now, while costs are still lower, as they will only continue to rise in the coming years. Don’t let cost considerations get any more pressing.
If you’re worried about the future of the fixed fee for final salary pension transfers, our IFA is here to help. You can book a free initial consultation with us to get some initial advice and insights.
We’re also happy to discuss any questions you may have about the transparency of the fixed fee. We believe in open and honest communication, and we’re here to support you in resolving any concerns you may have.