Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Reading

Guidance: The adviser asked the mother to complete a questionnaire about herself and her current scheme, and to send this over email along with her reasons for considering a transfer before the face-to-face consultation. He suggested to put down as much detail as possible and suggested that a lot of the time a transfer out of a final salary scheme might not be in the client’s best interest. The adviser also asked to be emailed a copy of the mother’s pension statement so as to understand what they are offering, and when the guarantee date runs out. 4/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser showed a sound understanding of the scenario and the complexities and risks involved in a transfer – either to another UK DC scheme, or a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme, which was another option, but one that might require a specialist. He also warned of risks associated with currency exposure, and the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit. 5/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser offered a very good description of what would be involved in the first consultation; demonstrating a fine knowledge of the different options available, and how the different decisions could impact the mother’s retirement outcome, but did not give a range of the cost involved.

Total score: 31/35


Adviser: Bluesky Chartered Financial Planners (Independent)

Address: 3 Chalfont Court, Chalfont Close, Lower Earley, Reading, Berkshire, RG6 5SY

Speed of response: 10:30am. The shopper was transferred to an adviser straight away. 5/5

Telephone manner: The adviser was chatty and polite. 5/5

Qualifications: FPFS. 5/5

Payment Method: The adviser explained there was no obligation to pay during the initial meeting, but a charge would then be incurred for a transfer value calculation – even if the client did not wish to proceed with the transfer. He did not give a price range or explain a cost breakdown. 2/5

Guidance: The adviser asked for more details, such as who the scheme was with, how much the mother had accrued, her age and where she planned to move, and what other assets she owned. He said the compliance surrounding DB transfers was "heavy duty", as was transferring to a Qrops. Therefore, he said the mother should "not set false expectations" and go in with "eyes wide open". He asked why the mother had suggested investing in a Sipp, and whether she would consider keeping a UK bank account after moving abroad. 5/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser was very knowledgeable and experienced in seeing transfer values from a lot of different schemes. He suggested the mother's scheme had one of the worst transfer values, and so a transfer might not be in her best interest. 5/5