Retirement advice queries went ‘through the roof’ following pension freedoms
The most popular retirement related advice searches in 2015 were on retirement planning, pension review, drawdown and pension transfer, according to data from financial adviser search site unbiased.co.uk.
April 2015 was the busiest month for pension queries – the same month pension freedoms became available – allowing those aged 55+ unprecedented access to their pension pot.
Traffic on the site throughout the year showed the busiest months for searches on pension advice were immediately before pension freedoms came into effect, and immediately after their introduction.
The most searches occurred in March, April and May 2015. October saw a spike in searches too, coinciding with the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement confirming changes to the State Pension and pension taxation.
Despite the new pension freedoms affecting people at retirement, unbiased.co.uk also found that searches on retirement planning were up, suggesting savers are “more engaged with the issue as a result of the new changes”.
It added that collectively, there were as many retirement-related enquiries on unbiased.co.uk as all other kinds of advice enquiries put together, such as on savings, mortgages, tax and investments.
Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, said: “January and April always see spikes in advice enquiries – being respectively New Year and the new tax year – but pension freedom sent searches through the roof. People at or near retirement suddenly found themselves in the driving seat, and it’s encouraging that so many took the sensible option and immediately turned to a professional adviser.
“This is a real insight into people’s advice needs. Transfers, consolidation, annuities and drawdown are complex issues, but also the areas where help from an adviser can deliver the most value. Many people are now looking at a retirement lasting 30 years or so, which means it’s never been more important to feel confident in the choices you make at the start. By seeking advice, retirees can feel reassured that they have taken the best steps towards the retirement they want.”