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Product review: Skipton retirement service

Skipton Building Society has launched a retirement service at its high street locations in response to customer demand.

After 18 months of research and feedback from 2,600 individuals, Skipton concluded that retirement planning is one of the greatest financial challenges for Britons as many are concerned they will not be fully prepared or have a sufficient income.

The service consists of three components: a retirement review, an online planner and a pension analysis and advice service.

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The review aims to help people picture their future goals and develop a plan to achieve them.

The online planner asks clients a series of questions to gauge their retirement readiness. The society’s financial advice subsidiary Skipton Financial Services provides the pension analysis and advice section of the product.

An initial adviser charge is calculated based on the amount the customer invests, subject to a minimum of £10,000. The initial adviser fee will not be charged unless the client decides to invest.

Charges on investment tiers differ from 4.5 per cent up to £150,000, to 0.5 per cent for £750,000 or greater. There is an ongoing charge of 0.75 per cent per annum for those who choose the ongoing service called Monitored Informed Investing.

www.skipton.co.uk

Comment:

Skipton has reviewed its services to determine where it could expand the business to further help its customers.

High net worth individuals are often the target market of financial service providers, yet Skipton states its target audience as the mass market who tend to get left behind in retirement planning.

Skipton also conducted a “DNA of Retirement” study, in which they attached probes to five pre-retirees to gauge subconscious feelings about retirement againt their conscious reports. There was a significant difference between answers given and the probes’ findings in 64 per cent of participants.

Greater confusion around retirement and pensions freedoms, in conjunction with less advice available, prompted the company to expand to fill a market gap.

The review is open to anyone who visits a Skipton branch. It is free, but charges apply if the customer is referred on and invests. The company is also including a complimentary will plan with the review.