Mystery Shopper: Lincoln

Search sponsored by

Adviser (Independent), FH Manning Financial Services, The Street Lamp, 8-12 South Street, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6DT

Speed of response: Time of call: 11.55 One ring and a receptionist and put her through to an adviser. 5/5

Telephone Manner: Polite, helpful and friendly. 5/5

Relevant Qualifications: Qualified to diploma level with the Chartered Insurance Institute. 5/5

Payment Method: Fees. Generally £120 an hour plus VAT, but it would have to be agreed as it could be too much for someone who contributes a small amount to a pension. 5/5

Guidance Given: The shopper was asked if she has a pension through her employer, which she does not as the company is very small. The adviser said the firm would have to offer her a pension eventually as the government had introduced a pension scheme to encourage this and that it is being phased in. The benefit to this would be that it would involve a contribution from the employer. The adviser said a pension would offer tax relief and it is tax-free, but that the money is locked in until at least age 55 and that only a percentage could be claimed as a lump-sum. He noted that there were other options available. 5/5

Knowledge: The adviser was very knowledgeable on recent changes in legislation, and on the pros and cons of pension investment according to the shopper’s age and financial circumstances. 4/5

E-mail/Web presence:

Verdict: The shopper felt confident in the company’s ability to advise her well and would be happy to have an initial meeting.


Adviser (Independent), Gold IFA, 28a The Forum, North Hykeham, Lincoln LN6 8HW

Speed of response: Time of call: 12.05. Three rings then through to a receptionist who put the shopper through to an adviser. 5/5

Telephone Manner: Polite and professional. The receptionist offered an appointment straightaway, as did the adviser. 5/5

Relevant Qualifications: All advisers were qualified to diploma level. 5/5

Payment Method: Fee-based and usually a charge for advice from a percentage of the pension contribution. 5/5

Guidance Given: The adviser was insistent that a meeting would be necessary to ascertain what the shopper needed, and asked her if she wanted to retire on a state pension. She said that pensions needed to be reviewed regularly so that they do not get a shock on retirement. The adviser said that they would need to look at the risk-reward balance. 3/5

Knowledge: The adviser appeared knowledgeable about the pensions market but seemed reluctant to give too much away on the telephone. 2/5

E-mail/Web 5/5