Independent and Unbiased Defined Benefit Pension Transfer Advice

Opting to transfer out of a Defined Benefit Pension Scheme (also known as a Final Salary Scheme) is one of the most complex decisions that you’ll ever make regarding your pension.

Why our clients choose us

At Accudo Investments you’ll work with Claire Novakovic, our in-house Pension Transfer Specialist who is also a qualified chartered financial planner as well as chartered accountant with ICAEW.

Specialist financial support is mandatory for DB transfers with a value of £30,000 and above.

With years of experience backed up by her FCA pension transfer permissions, Claire will guide you through the complicated analysis so that you are left feeling confident in your decision regarding a DB transfer.Following on from the FCA’s consultation paper on 5th June 2020 we have incorporated the option for abridged advice into our services. This option, which is effectively a short form of advice, will not be available until after 01/10/20 in line with the FCA proposal. After this date we will now offer the option of abridged advice for a fixed fee of £500. This abridged advice will result in one of 2 outcomes, either
      1. A personal recommendation to the client not to transfer or convert their pension, or
      2. Informing the client that it is unclear whether or not they would benefit from a transfer or conversion based on the information collected. The adviser would then ask the client whether they wish to proceed to full advice.

Always on your side

DB transfers aren’t right for everyone so it’s crucial that you receive advice that is based on your unique and personal circumstances. If you are not solely dependent on a high withdrawal rate from you pension, and if you are looking for more flexibility to meet your circumstances and/or more favourable death benefits then transferring out of your Defined Benefit Pension scheme may be suitable for you. Conversely, if you are dependent upon the level of income provided by your defined benefit scheme and there is a lack of other assets to fall back upon in retirement, then a transfer is unlikely to be right for you.

Bespoke advice tailored to your individual needs.

Our clients have usually built up a diverse range of pension plans by the time they come to see us. It may be that your defined benefit (final salary) scheme is one of many pensions that you hold, or it may be that this is your one and only pension and indeed in some cases your largest asset.When you approach us about DB transfers you’ll begin a clear 4-stage process which starts with an in-depth and free discussion with Claire to ascertain your personal objectives and financial position.

Your comprehensive Pension Transfer Report

Regardless of whether a DB transfer is recommended or not, you will receive a Pension Transfer Report generated from Claire’s exhaustive and comprehensive analysis.

Our clients frequently comment on how much they learn from the report in terms of the retirement decisions they need to make with their existing scheme.

Some of the areas covered in our reports include:

  • Specialist recommendation whether to opt for a final salary pension transfer or to continue with your existing scheme
  • How commutation factors will affect the level of tax free cash
  • Summary of how your pension will rise in payment
  • Appraisal of the effects of early (or late) retirement discount (enhancement) factors
  • Recommended options for the investment of unallocated tax free cash

A Fair & Transparent Fee Model

At Accudo Investments the transparent and straightforward approach we adopt for the financial advice we give you applies equally to the way we charge you for our services.

Unlike many financial advisors, we do not operate a policy of contingent charging. Contingent charging is where advisers only get paid if a certain route is followed. In the case of defined benefit transfers, this has hit the regulator’s radar as many advisers charge only if the client transfers out and not if the transfer does not proceed. This could be viewed as a clear incentive for some advisers to recommend a transfer out regardless of whether it is really in the client’s best interest.

We charge £1,750 for our Pension Transfer Report, regardless of whether a DB transfer is recommended.

If a transfer is recommended an appropriate portfolio will be constructed and all the appropriate forms and compliance requirements will be completed to facilitate the transfer.  Extra initial advice fees will apply, namely 1%-2% of the amount transferred and extra annual costs, namely 0.5%-0.75% also dependent upon the value of the pension transferred, however the cost of the initial report, namely £1,750 will be offset against any extra fees (please see our services and costs disclosure for further information on our cost and service levels).

After 01/10/2020 Accudo will be adapting our full report fee so that the charge is the same whether a transfer is recommended or not, this will either be a fixed monetary fee or percentage charge (dependent of the value of the pension), in line with the FCA policy statement 19/25.

“Claire explains the options clearly and is not in any way pushy with any advice, I am always able to go away and think about what may be best for me, if I felt that was required. Obviously, with any investment, the current economic situation plays a huge part, but I am happy with how my portfolio has grown over the last eight (?) years and also, how it has been made more tax efficient.”

January 2019

“As an Independent Financial Advisor who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Claire was able to provide the advice and expertise I required. Claire is an amiable person who is a pleasure to work with.”

December 2018

“Claire took great care to ensure that she understood the aims / wishes of my partner and I to determine what we wish to achieve and whent. Claire then researched in great detail my mind-numbingly complicated company schemes. This involved numerous phone calls and letters to the pension officer to clarify the basis upon which pension estimates in benefit statements had been calculated which, as was subsequently proven to be the case, seemed at odds with industry conventions. Based upon her research Claire developed a proposal a 'blended approach' (of draw-down using tax-free lump sum(s) and pension from my company defined benefit scheme) which will yield the maximum from the assets whilst maintaining the level of security which we require. I regard this an immense achievement given the fearful complexity and opacity of my company pension schemes.”

December 2018
Defined Benefit Pension Transfer
Claire Csoka ACA

Claire is our in-house Pension Transfer Specialist and also a qualified chartered financial planner as well as chartered accountant with ICAEW

Frequently asked questions about DB Transfers

What experience do you have with DB Transfers?

Claire Novakovic is the co-founder of Accudo Investments and the dedicated in-house pension transfer specialist. She is a Chartered Financial Advisor with the CII (CFA) and also a qualified Pension Transfer Specialist (holding the relevant FCA permissions to conduct pension transfer business including defined benefit schemes). With over a decade of experience in pension consulting, she is one of the top authorities on pension transfers and consolidation.

Financial advisors make a lot more money over time if you transfer than if you don’t. How do you manage this conflict of interest?

Unlike many financial advice companies, Accudo Investments does not operate a policy of contingent charging. We charge £1,750 for our Pension Transfer Report, regardless of whether a pension transfer is recommended or not and we feel it is imperative to do so in order to look into this thoroughly and professionally on your behalf and offer you the best possible advice which in some cases will be to maintain your existing scheme. Sometimes clients may be put off by the thought of paying to maintain what is already held, however if after careful analysis this appears the right thing to do, you will have paid to make an informed decision and we believe this will be money well spent.  We will also carefully analyse whether or not you would be better to transfer into your work place pension scheme as opposed to a personal pension recommended by us, to avoid any conflict of interest surrounding ongoing fees.

What are the risks of staying in a Defined Benefit Scheme?

If your employer becomes insolvent and doesn’t have sufficient money left in the pension company fund to pay the promised pension you might receive less than the full amount that you have accumulated.

Who is likely to benefit from a DB transfer?

Those who are most likely to benefit from consolidating or transferring their final salary scheme are those who aren’t relying exclusively on the scheme for their full retirement income. They often have other pensions and investments. Alternatively they might be looking for wealth or taxation planning by taking a pension sooner or later than retirement age.

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