Am fuming! Like many a small business owner my pension planning has been somewhat haphazard. On the advice of accountants to save a bit of Corporation Tax I’ve invested the occasional lump sum into different pension pots over the years and then more recently started making monthly contributions to my business’s own stakeholder pension.
This relatively new monthly pension that has been doing ok, achieving an annualised growth of over six percent which seems good to me plus the fees are reasonable. The best thing though is they have a neat little app where you can instantly see money you’ve put in, the growth and then get an instant calculation based on low, mid and high growth of what the annual pension will be worth when I’m 65.
On its own it’s not a lot but with my savings, a small final salary pension that I paid into for a couple of years which starts to pay out when I’m 60 and some continuing income from my work and the state pension I reckon it’ll be just enough to see me through.
Back in early December I decided to transfer those other small pension pots into my new main pension. Armed with the transfer value and other information from one of those providers I’ve sent emails and phoned my main provider at least six times and received no satisfactory response until yesterday!
I then got the most patronising email saying that as I wished to proceed without a financial advisor they would not accept any information from me and everything had to come directly from my old pension provider.
Here’s an excerpt from the email with their emboldening and underlining: “This information must be contained in a letter or email from your previous pension provider and must be dated within 3 months of submitting it to us. Please note we are unable to accept this information from you and it must be confirmed by the other pension administrator. You may want to copy the above table into your letter or email to your previous pension provider.”
The slow response and patronising tone was one thing but pushing me into the dubious world of financial advisors was another. Sorry if you are one but this is a profession I have nothing but contempt for and I’m sure will form the basis of future blogs.
From what I read and some of my own experiences their main aim is to get hold of all of your investments, take their fees and get rich on your behalf. I contacted one a few years back for simple advice about my final salary related pension. For the few hours work required they expected to take 3% of the pension amounting to many thousands of pounds.
As a 59 years-old graduate, businessman and father I am more than capable of making my own decisions about my own money and, of course, have my own issues at heart. Sure I understand pension providers have an obligation to encourage customers to take advice but ultimately I should be able to decide what I do with my money without being forced to get into bed with so-called experts.