Thinking of taking your pension cash without advice?

Why you need better protection

Changes to pension rules have opened up a lot of welcome opportunities for those approaching retirement.

My clients are now planning for their retirement in different ways – although with change and additional choice does come an increased need for greater understanding.

Over recent months there has been a rise in non-advised drawdown. With more and more people accessing their pension savings without regulated advice, I’m backing calls to offer better protection to these consumers.

I’m not alone in writing to my MP lobbying for change. Other advice firms have also called on the government and the Financial Conduct Authority to ensure that people accessing their pensions without advice receive better protection.

Tax charges can significantly affect your pension planning

Savers can withdraw 25 per cent from their pensions tax free from age 55. After that they incur a tax charge set at their marginal rate.

While it’s fair for pension income to be taxed (considering savings receive tax relief upfront), it’s not ideal that consumers are incurring large tax bills when they withdraw as this can significantly impact their retirement plans.

In my experience, many  consumers don’t understand the way their pension fund will be taxed, nor the restrictions imposed by the Treasury on future pension saving when they withdraw more than their tax-free cash.

I’d therefore back the call for providers to send consumers a statement explaining how much tax will be taken from their pension savings when they access it.

People who withdraw from their pension without advice may also be unaware that there are implications if they want to put more money into their pot after making a withdrawal. This is because the money purchase annual allowance kicks in.

To tackle this issue, I’d suggest that providers also explain the restrictions imposed on future tax relieved pension savings where more than the tax-free cash is withdrawn.

Another suggestion that has been mooted is a mandatory 30-day cooling off period for consumers looking to access their pensions without advice. Again, this seems to make sense to me.

Clients need to understand the implications of taking pension cash

My one concern with providers sending additional warnings to non-advised consumers is that people are already overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork and disclosure that they receive.

However, I believe that one of the main issues with pension freedoms to date is that many people simply don’t understand the implications of taking cash up front.

Any change that has a positive effect on improving a client’s understanding – and their financial position – has to be welcome.

If you want tailored advice on your retirement options, get in touch. We offer free consultations in Epsom, Surrey.


Reviews and Ratings for Financial adviser Ray Martin, Kingston-upon-Thames

We’re highly rated

We retain a 5-star rating on VouchedFor, an independent service that enables clients to review their professional advisers. VouchedFor verifies the reviews and testimonials we receive, so you can be confident that they are authentic. 2018, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 Top Rated Adviser, as listed in The Times

Read More

Our former financial adviser was retiring and recommended Ray to us. He alleviated the constant worry of where to best invest our savings without too much risk. We’re very pleased with the results over the last 10 years. He explains things in layman's language, which we appreciate, and gives us the confidence we have made the right choices. What more can people expect?


We had pension policies and investments that needed sorting out ready for retirement. We didn't know what to expect from a financial adviser. We assumed that he would simply advise us where to get the best deals. How wrong we were. Ray took us right back to basics. He made us carefully consider what we really wanted to achieve. He has allowed us to start to really enjoy our retirement.


I needed financial advice about pensions and investments as I approached retirement. My wife was in the same position. Ray Martin worked out a comprehensive plan for putting my pension provision and savings into proper order. He did the same for my wife. He has continued to provide us with advice ever since. Ray is always straightforward, open and proactive.


I was approaching retirement and wanting to look into limiting taxation and Inheritance Tax, as well as providing for my wife. Ray provided sound advice to switch from my current arrangement to a Drawdown Pension and ISA investments. I have now retired and have started seeing the benefits of his advice. The returns on my portfolio have increased beyond expectation. Ray performed extremely well.


I had sold my house and didn't know how to invest the money. Ray invested very wisely and there has been about a 5% increase every year. He listened to our queries, gave answers that we fully understood and followed any requests. He always had time for us, and never rushed us. We would have been financially at a loss without his help.


Ray has been advising my wife and me for about 20 years. He is everything one could hope for in a financial adviser: wonderfully enthusiastic, extremely well informed, completely trustworthy and scrupulously observant of the regulatory requirements. He is able to explain complex matters very clearly, and so far, his advice has always been first class.


I had money to invest and had no idea how to go about investing it and hopefully making a gain. I have three children and wanted advice about inheritance planning. Ray is very patient, very clear when he explains things, he is very interested in me as a person, totally trustworthy and is an excellent listener. We have never been disappointed! He`s been brilliant.


I had just been widowed. Ray sorted out and simplified what was a very complex set of investments into a much less confusing portfolio. I have been extremely happy with everything Ray has advised over the last 12 years. Whilst moving with the times, he has dealt with all aspects of my investments wisely and given me all the guidance and help I have needed.


As the financial director of a company, I was seeking to get advice on how to plan and invest for retirement. Without a doubt, Ray Martin helped me understand and plan how to fund my retirement. Ray has been with me every step of the way. His advice has been invaluable. I retired and achieved my annual income goal. His continued advice is helping me in the next stage of my life.


I needed some advice regarding my late mother’s estate. I had also retired and required advice on how to manage my private pension. Ray was extremely helpful, and his advice was very clear and easy to understand. I came away from our initial meeting feeling very relieved and less stressed. We have just had our first yearly review and I was surprised how well my investments had done.


In the last 10 years, my circumstances have changed with the passage of time. Ray has guided me on how to protect and make my money grow. He listens carefully to my needs and gives clear, concise advice in a professional manner. He and his team are always accessible and patient with my questions and their approach gives me confidence that my finances are securely looked after.


Client stories


Planning for retirement

An accountant by trade, Mike knew the value of seeking the help of a financial professional when it came to planning for his eventual retirement. Here’s his story.

Read More

Oliver & Rosie

Peace of mind in retirement

Oliver and Rosie have found the financial peace of mind they needed to enjoy retirement to the full. Here’s their story.

Read More