Retirement Income  

Income and flexibility are top needs for pension clients

Income and flexibility are top needs for pension clients

Generating an income is the most important factor for advisers' clients, but flexibility is also key, research from FTAdviser has found.

Since the pensions freedoms and choice regime came into force in April 2015, people in the UK have had far more control and flexibility over how they take their pension pots at retirement age.

For financial advisers, this means clients have been asking far more questions about how to make their pension savings last longer into retirement, while giving them the ability to take an income from the pension pot.

In a snapshot poll carried out by FTAdviser through Twitter, advisers were asked what was the most important consideration for clients for their pension savings.

Some 41 per cent of advisers responding to the poll cited income as the primary consideration, with flexibility coming in a close second, at 40 per cent.

Neil Adams, pensions and investments specialist for advisory firm Drewberry, said people need to understand the income has to last far longer than they might originally have expected, giving we are now living longer and in better health than ever before.

He said: "It's always important to invest for the point funds are required. You're no longer just investing until your retirement date, especially with the introduction of widely available income drawdown.

"Your investment horizon is now far longer. That means a pension could be a lifetime investment."

Moreover, he said the need for flexibility also should reflect the fact the pension might need to be divvied up into different pockets or buckets for various purposes.

Mr Adams said these could include long-term care, inter-generational financial planning or simply providing an income that lasts for the duration of one's retirement.

The poll carried out by FTAdviser, in association with Scottish Widows, suggested inter-generational planning, or passing on benefits to a spouse or offspring, was only a key factor for 10 per cent of advised clients.

But as one respondent, adviser Darren Cooke of Red Circle Financial Planning, pointed out what is most important to clients often changes based on where they are in the investment journey.

He commented: "It depends if they are in the accumulation or decumulation phase."

Find out more

To find out how to get the pension investment strategy right during the accumulation phase so clients can have the best possible outcome in decumulation, read our special feature on making pension dreams a reality, which qualifies for an indicative 30 minutes' worth of CPD.