Until recently 57-year-old Guy Saunders was a senior executive with a major oil company before he decided to take early retirement.
As an IFA firm, IFG Financial Services had worked closely with his wife and many of his relatives, and he came to us seeking help, clarification and advice around his pension options.
A member of his company’s final salary scheme, Mr Saunders had also built up a linked money purchase fund through additional voluntary contributions (AVC) he had made over the years.
He was keen to explore his options in regard to this fund and initially approached the pension scheme administrator for help. However he found little comfort in the level of information or service it could provide, leaving him frustrated and none the wiser.
Having approached IFG FS, we took up the baton on his behalf and ran with it.
Communication with the scheme administrator was difficult, but we clarified the rules of Mr Saunders’ final salary scheme, which set out the options pertaining to his associated AVC fund.
In short the scheme rules dictated that an annuity had to be bought, even though this was not Mr Saunders’ preferred option. However arrangements have now been made to provide Mr Saunders with the maximum amount of tax free cash from his AVC fund and we have identified the most appropriate asset backed annuity for him to purchase.
Mr Saunders’ case emphasises a number of major issues with the current pension landscape. In the first instance it highlights the poor access to information that many scheme members enjoy and the problems they have in getting fast and full responses to their enquiries.
In the second instance it shows that certain schemes can be restrictive in what they allow members to do and the sooner these limitations are realised the sooner plans can be made to circumnavigate problems where they exist.
At IFG FS, our advisers offer knowledge, clarity and excellent service to clients like Mr Saunders, helping them come to the best decisions regarding their financial future.