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(FSA) code of practice and must act in an impartial and ethical manner, or their approval to give advice could be withdrawn.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.
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.
As a pensions adviser you should:
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.
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
4-9 Burgate Lane
Tel: 01227 818609
The Pensions Management Institute
4-10 Artillery Lane
Tel: 020 7392 7400
Independent Financial Adviser Promotion
Financial Services Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Tel: 020 7066 1000