Why Independent Financial Advice adds up when you're planning your pension

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A new report has found that up to 73% of the people questioned about their pension plans haven't sought out independent financial advice to ensure they make the most of their pension.

Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) asked 1,000 people about how they were planning for retirement and found that just 8% regularly ask an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) for guidance.

The Director General of SHIP, Andrea Rozario, said: "The findings show that without consulting an IFA, consumers are likely to miss out on the full spectrum of retirement products."

A major cause for concern is that consumers are often confused about the different types of financial advice available to them. In fact, a Which? survey carried out over a period of 14 years found that the quality of advice given across different areas such as mortgages, debt and equity release was inconsistent.

And a Which? survey carried out in May 2009, with 2,000 people questioned, found that just one third had sought financial advice from an expert not based at their bank.

Financial Advisers in banks are tied to sell only that bank's products, whereas an Independent Financial Adviser can give advice about any product. IFAs were found to have performed far better than those tied to specific companies by asking the right questions of each individual customer and offering more thorough advice.


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