Pensions Adviser Careers

How to become pensions adviser

What does a pensions adviser do?

Pensions advisers help clients choose the right pension to meet their needs. They advise clients on a range of different pension schemes, discuss the level of contributions and the value of the pension on retiring. They can act as tied or independent agents.

Tied agents offer the products of one company, eg a bank, whereas independents need to offer whole-of-market advice. New rules state that pension advisers can now offer both types of advice as long as they clearly inform the client of which role they are in.

They advise a wide variety of individuals and employers. After discussing the client's financial circumstances, advisers research all possible options before recommending a pension. They will continue to offer advice, make adjustments to pensions or explain other options if the client's circumstances change. 

Pensions advisers are governed by the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) code of practice and must act in an impartial and ethical manner, or their approval to give advice could be withdrawn. In recent years some pension companies have faced legal action for incorrect advice. Contact the FSA for further details.


What's the working environment like for a pensions adviser?

Hours may vary depending on their employer and on whether they are tied or independent. Most pensions advisers work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, however, tied advisers may work Saturdays on a rota basis. Advisers may meet clients during the evenings, as well as during normal office hours.

Most advisers work from an office but some work from home. A driving licence is essential for independent advisers as travel will be involved.

What does it take to become a pensions adviser?

As a pensions adviser you should:

  • have good mathematics and computing skills
  • have a confident manner
  • have the ability to compare and contrast financial products
  • have determination, as you may be selling services or products to your clients
  • be able to keep up with new trends in the financial market
  • have good research skills, and the ability to analyse and present information
  • have good communication skills, and the ability to explain complex ideas to clients
  • have good listening and questioning skills
  • be able to inspire confidence and trust.


Pensions adviser career opportunities

Pensions advisers can be employed by any organisation responsible for promoting pensions such as a bank, pensions company or employer. Pensions advisers may move into related jobs, for example, financial adviser. With experience, it is also possible to become self-employed. At least two years of post qualifying experience is common.

Further information

If you would like to learn more about becoming a pensions adviser that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Financial Services Skills Council
51 Gresham Street
Tel: 020 7216 7366

Institute of Financial Services
IFS House
4-9 Burgate Lane
Tel: 01227 818609

Chartered Insurance Institute
20 Aldermanbury
Tel: 020 8989 8464

Personal Finance Society
42-48 High Road
South Woodford
E18 2JP
Tel: 020 8530 0852

The Pensions Management Institute
PMI House
4-10 Artillery Lane
E1 7LS
Tel: 020 7392 7400

Independent Financial Adviser Promotion

Financial Services Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
E14 5HS
Tel: 020 7066 1000


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