Investments  

Firms braced for rush for advice

Firms braced for rush for advice

Advisers are preparing for a deluge of calls from clients about their options in the era of pension freedoms, which begins today.

The changes, which were announced by chancellor George Osborne in his Budget last year, allow those aged 55 and over with a defined contribution pension to access their entire pension flexibly.

Concerns about the freedoms have ranged from a buy-to-let market frenzy, with pensioners viewing this as a way to secure income, and the potential for people to run out of money.

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While annuity rates have been extremely low in the era of rock-bottom interest rates, they have provided the certainty of an income for life.

There is also the worry once a secondary market for annuities is created, the amount pensioners will get for the policies could represent poor value.

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green, has prepared a short video on his website to explain the pension freedoms and make clients aware of issues such as tax liabilities due on withdrawals.

“In addition to the video, we have prepared factsheets for clients and have emailed the documents to just under 3,000 clients plus all our professional introducers,” he said.

“We are determined to advise clients and not be order-takers. If it is not right for the client to do something in our professional opinion, we won’t act on behalf of the client.”

Mr Lamb added he had prepared a detailed advice route for clients who approach him about the pension freedoms.