Pensions  

Billy Burrows authors pension freedoms guide

Billy Burrows authors pension freedoms guide

Retirement IQ director and financial planner Billy Burrows has published a guide to help advisers think about retirement planning in the post-pension freedoms world.

The guide, commissioned by Prudential, takes a question and answer format, and focuses on four stages: before retirement, at retirement, during retirement, and later retirement.

The "before retirement" section deals with areas such as defined benefit transfers and pre-retirement investment strategy.

The "at retirement" section looks at the choice between annuities and drawdown, and details how to determine what is a sustainable level of drawdown income.

The "during retirement" section deals with how to manage sequence of return risk and how to review drawdown plans, while the final section discusses equity release and estate planning.

"Pension freedoms has made it very easy for individuals to take money from their pension pots, but the decision whether to take cash, purchase an annuity or invest in drawdown is one of the most difficult and important decisions in financial planning," Mr Burrows states in the introduction to the guide. 

"It may be tempting to consider retirement options in isolation from other financial assets but in most cases the best outcomes are achieved with ‘holistic financial planning’.

"However, in a world where many people don’t properly engage with their personal finances or advice, holistic advice is now the exception rather than the rule. A good way to broaden the advice proposition towards more holistic planning is to think of retirement as a journey rather an event.

"This approach has many advantages not least because it helps advisers and their clients plan for the future in a more intuitive and engaging way."

Vince Smith-Hughes, director of specialist business support at Prudential, said: "Advisers will benefit from having a simple, independent guide providing useful tips about the retirement advice process. I recommend advisers read this valuable guide as it encourages more holistic advice throughout retirement”.

"This is the latest in a number of initiatives from Prudential being released throughout 2017 to support advisers."

Alan Chan, a London-based chartered financial planner and director of IFS Wealth & Pension, welcomed the publication of the guide.

"It's a good idea to share best practice. In the pensions world things change a lot, and other advisers often come up with different angles," he said.

He added he would be most interested to read the "at retirement" section to get Mr Burrows' take on issues such as tax-free cash and whether or not to purchase an annuity.

The guide can be viewed at www.retirement-iq.co.uk, and is also due to be published on Prudential's website.

james.fernyhough@ft.com