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Need a new personal pension

(8 Posts)
cheminotte Sat 09-Nov-13 19:57:37

So I'm 36 and currently have 2 frozen company pensions and a stakeholder pension that was transferred from a company pension where I didn't stay long enough to make it worth freezing. I've been paying into it monthly since I went part-time to make up at least some of the difference. I'm now self employed so am not getting any company contributions at all and have reviewed my stakeholder and discovered that in the last year it did not grow at all in value. So I might as well have been putting my money in a savings account offset against my mortgage and reducing the life of my mortgage. I've been in touch with the provider, Scottish Widows, who have said I can change funds within a small choice, but they have all performed badly and are all low risk. At my age with at least 20 years of working life ahead of me I feel I can put some money in high risk investments.
I phoned them earlier in the week and said could I change my pension to a personal pension with them where the choice of funds is far wider. They basically said no, not unless I was recommended by an IFA as their personal pensions are only open to IFAs.
So I'm not sure what to do now, should I look for a personal pension that I can access as a private individual and move the money there, or find an IFA and presumably pay for advice? How do I choose a new pension or an IFA?

LordEmsworth Sat 09-Nov-13 20:14:08

You would have to pay to consult a financial advisor. You can take out a pension yourself but if you don't know much about it, paying a (good) advisor might be a worthwhile investment.

Virgin Money do a stakeholder pension you can open/manage yourself, as do Legal & General, Aviva and Standard Life, for starters.

If you want to go more complex there are SIPPs (Self Invested Personal Pensions) where you choose the investments that go into your pension fund. (Unlike a stakeholder where you have a limited choice of the provider's funds).

cheminotte Sat 09-Nov-13 21:39:14

Thanks Lord E. Any idea how much an IFA would cost? I'm not sure another stakeholder is the answer tbh as I think they all have limited choice.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 09-Nov-13 21:53:01

Money facts and money marketing give awards each year for IFAs this would be a good place to look to see if anyone local to you has won any.
A good IFA can make a huge difference I have quadrupled my not insignificant pension in 5 years with good advice.

It sounds as though you are ready to take charge of your own pension. An IFA will just extract more fees from you. I suggest you look for a SIPP and plan to invest the money in tracker funds and ETFs.

I use Sippdeal - I haven't looked at the charges other SIPPs make recently, but a quick skim of this board boards.fool.co.uk/pensions-self-invested-sipps-51267.aspx?mid=12851363 suggests that Sippdeal are still well recommended. It would be a good place to ask detailed pensions question if you have any.

LordEmsworth Sun 10-Nov-13 09:03:06

www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/how-to-pay-for-financial-advice

The cost of an adviser varies enormously. Your best bet might be to ask friends / colleagues / family for a recommendation - cheaper isn't necessarily better, but neither is more expensive...

cheminotte Sun 10-Nov-13 09:40:25

Yes indeed manzanilla that's my worry.
I will look at those links. DP has a personal pension that he manages himself and has nearly doubled its value so will be asking him for advice too once I've found one.

This is a good article on looking for cheap trackers and ETFs: www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/investing/article-1583915/A-guide-cheapest-index-tracker-funds.html. It's 6 months old, but I should think it is still pretty accurate. So, somewhere to start!

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