Independent Pension Advice 


Whether you’ve loads of pensions or had the same one for years, we can help you make sense of your options 

What are your pension options?

 The pension freedom rule mean it’s up to you how you access your pension pots. 

This flexibility to choose what’s right for you is great but can be confusing trying to work out what to do for the bestso you’ve enough to fund your retirement, and provide for loved ones after your death. That’s where we come in. 

Independent Pension Advice
pension adviser

Your Independent Financial Advisers

As pension specialists with the additional permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority to advise on defined benefit pension transfers, we are not tied to any provider, so can give you whole of market advice.

Helping with those difficult decisions

Deciding what to do with your pensions can be daunting:  

  • Do I draw down? Do I get an annuity? 
  • Guaranteed monthly income or flexible access? 
  • How do I know how much I’ll need?  

But don’t worry. Our friendly and expert financial advisers know their stuff. We’ve got a fantastic process designed to help you clearly understand the pros and cons of the different optionsso you can make the right decisions for you. 

Your initial consultation is free of charge and the peace of mind is priceless. So, let’s explore your future and how we can help you get your ideal retirement lifestyle 

Independent Pension Advice

Don’t take our word for it…

Meet some of our clients and see what they think of us,
the PlanHappy process and how it’s helped them do what they wanted…

What is pension advice? 

Pension advice is professional support to understand how much money you have for retirement.  

You might have several pension pots from different workplace pension schemes, or you might have had the same one for decades. Either way, it can be difficult to work out what you’ve got and whether it’s enough. Pension advice can help you decide whether you have enough money to retire… or even retire early. 

You can get pension advice from financial advisers such as an independent financial adviser (an IFA). All pension advisers are required to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to give advice, recommend products and discuss investments.  

Why is pension advice important? 

Pension advice is important because pension products can be complicated, and life can be unpredictable. Professional advice helps you make the right decisions about your money and your future. You need to know how much you’ve got, how to access it and when you can afford to retire comfortably.  

It can be tempting to bury your head in the sand and think that retirement planning is something to do in your sixties, as state pension age approaches. But if you do that, you might miss out on the chance to retire early.  

At Joslin Rhodes Pension & Retirement Planning, we’ve helped people retire years earlier than they thought possible, with an income to support their dream lifestyle. Our record’s 12 years early. Imagine what you could do with 12 extra years of comfortable retirement. 

Even if you can’t – or don’t want – to retire early, that’s not the only reason to seek independent pension advice.  

Without pension advice, you might retire without really knowing if you’ve enough money to last. This means you could spend your retirement worrying about money, even if you don’t need to. It’s our job to stop you being scared to spend your retirement savings and having a poor-quality retirement as a result. Pension advice and retirement lifestyle financial planning can help you understand your finances and enjoy retirement more, without the worry of running out of money.  


Who can give advice on pensions? 

State pensions, workplace pensions, pension drawdown, annuities, investments, transfers… Retirement income can be complicated. But help’s at hand. For impartial advice on pensions, you can talk to an independent financial advisor (an IFA).   

An IFA will be able to talk to you about retirement planning, pensions, investments, inheritance tax and more. You’ll probably work with them long-term, with regular or annual check-ins to make sure everything’s on track.  

IFAs are registered with and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to make sure they provide sound financial advice. And, where you received advice on regulated products (including investments, insurance and Pensions) you have the protection of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). 

Which IFA you choose is entirely up to you. Most advisers, including us, offer a free initial consultation. Use this opportunity to speak to different advisers and find someone you get along with and who understands your individual needs and hopes for retirement. 

Do I have to get pension advice? 

In some cases. In 2015 the law changed to say you can access your pension from 55. To protect people’s retirement income and stop them making unwise decisions – like cashing in their pension and spending it all before they turn 56 – there’s a legal requirement to get advice if you’re wanting to transfer pensions with safeguarded benefits with a value of more than £30,000 

The benefit of this is that you can assess all your options and make the right decision for you. 

Pensions are complex financial products and the consequences of decisions you make about them can affect your quality of life. So, it’s really important to get independent financial advice, to help you understand your individual circumstances.  

How to get independent pension advice 

All independent financial advisers in the UK must be registered with the FCA to guarantee they’re qualified to advise you. So a great place to start your search for independent pension advice is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register  

To find a specialist in later life and retirement planning, the Money Advice Service has a directory of retirement advisers 

What’s the difference between Restricted and Independent Financial Advice? 

A restricted financial adviser only offers products from a fixed range of products or providers. Whereas an independent financial adviser offers products and advice covering the whole market.  

In our opinion, it is best to work with an independent financial adviser because you can explore more options and find the right ones for your specific circumstances.  

Getting the right pension advice can make a big difference to your retirement income and even retirement age, so make sure you get financial advice from the right people. 


Is all pension advice the same? 

It’s not. There are different types of pension advice. Some is focused purely on the figures on your pension statement. This type of advice gives a quite one-dimensional, one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether you can retire. It assumes that every year will be the same and retirement planning can be reduced to a simple equation.  

Here at Joslin Rhodes Pension & Retirement Planning, we take a holistic approach to give you complete confidence in your retirement finances. Instead of just looking at the numbers and the products you’ve got, we first look at the lifestyle you want. Because there’s no point retiring and not enjoying it.   

We’ll still answer the technical questions for you. But the focus is on you and the life you want. Once we know that, the answers to those technical questions become clearer. It’s all about making the right choices to get you closer to your ideal retirement.  


What’s different about pension advice from Joslin Rhodes? 

We have our own unique way of working out whether you’ve got enough money to retire. We don’t just look at your age and pension pot and tell you ‘yes, you’ve got enough’ or ‘no, you don’t’.  

We want to get to the bottom of a bigger question. ‘Enough for what?’. Because there’s no point retiring early if you’re just surviving and pinching pennies. We work with you to understand what you want to do in retirement – holidays, hobbies, special occasions – and make sure you have enough for that. 

We dig deep to understand how much money you need to have a comfortable retirement doing the things you love. Then we start working out how to make it happen. It’s called ‘lifestyle financial planning’ but we call it PlanHappy 😊  

How does PlanHappy and lifestyle financial planning work? 

We know you’ll be able to make the best decisions when you understand what we’re talking about. Some financial advisers baffle clients with jargon and technical talk. But we work really hard to make our pension advice super clear.  

It might sound strange but we do this by drawing everything out on a whiteboard.  It’s all about making complex information simple and easy to understand. Once you understand something it’s easier to make a decision your confident in.  

Using the analogy of an architect, we look at what building materials you have – such as pensions, salary, savings – and what it is you want to do in your retirement. Once we have this, we can show you if you’ve enough for the retirement you want or, if not, what needs to be done to make it happen. 

As happy client Stephen said, ‘the pens come out, the whiteboard comes out, and it’s like a lightbulb going on’.  


Can pension advice help me retire early? 

Absolutely. We help people retire much earlier than they ever thought possible. Our record is 12 years early. You might think that you have to retire at state pension age (currently 66) but you can generally access your private pension from 55.  

But to be able to do that, you need to start planning in good time. After all, you can’t retire at 55 if you don’t start planning until you’re 60. That’s why we’re huge advocates for getting pension advice as soon as you can – whether you plan to retire early or not. 


What’s the best age to get pension advice?  

You can generally access your private pension pot from the age of 55. So, we think you should start getting pension advice around that time. Imagine how frustrating it would be to wait until you’re 60 to ask for advice and then realise you could have retired five years earlier. See what our client Stephen has to say about that very situation.  

Is the pension advisory service free? Can I get free pension advice?  

General pension guidance is available for free from a few places. For example, the Money Advice Service, the Pension Advisory Service and Pension Wise 

It’s worth noting that this is guidance only, which means they can provide general information but can’t give advice on your specific situation.   

To really understand your personal pension options, you need tailored advice that looks at your individual circumstances – your different pension pots, your sources of income, your hopes for retirement.  

Professional, regulated advice is a paid-for service because it involves an experienced professional spending time working out the best route to your desired outcomes, be that retiring early, or simply knowing you’ve enough to afford a comfortable retirement. Most advisers will, however, offer a free initial consultation to discuss your needs.   

Why pay for pension advice? 

Pensions are complicated and mistakes can be costly, both in terms of losing money and the impact of that on your lifestyle. The best way to prepare for your financial future is impartial pension advice that’s tailored to your specific circumstances.  

An independent financial adviser will use their expertise to help you make the most of your money.  

 They’re legally bound to give advice that benefits you and your circumstances and will  spend a lot of time understanding your specific needs and assessing your options 

 At Joslin Rhodes Pension & Retirement Planning, we don’t just advise on the financial side of things – although our pension experts really know their numbers. We start with your dream retirement lifestyle – what you really want from later life – then we work out how to get you there.  

 So, whilst theres a cost to professional financial advice, the benefits can be priceless, especially with our lifestyle planning approach – from realising you can retire years earlier than you thought, to having the peace of mind to live later life to the full knowing you have enough money to last.  

 Not only that but you get reassurance and legal protection when using a Financial Adviser. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the regulator of the financial services industry in the UK and all advisers must abide by their strict rules. Plus, by using a professional you’re also protected by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) 

 How much does pensions advice cost?  

Pension advice costs vary, depending on the help and support you need. Some circumstances are very simple – such as a single person with a single workplace pension – whilst others are more complicated – such as a couple with multiple pension pots and investments. 

 You’ll need to speak to different advisers to find out a ballpark figure. But they won’t be able to confirm detailed costs until they understand your circumstances better. That’s why pension advisers usually offer a free initial consultation – so they can find out more about you and prepare a quote.  

Our initial consultation is free of charge. You can book an online consultation to start sorting out your finances from the comfort of your own home. Or book a socially-distanced, in-person consultation at our COVID-secure planning rooms in Stockton and Newcastle. 

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Real Advice, For Real People

We'll show you:

  • When you can afford to retire
  • How much money you'll need in retirement
  • How to make the most of your pensions and other assets to fund your lifestyle

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"I cannot find fault with the service we received. From the warm yet professional welcome to the financial advice we were given. You as a company should be proud of the service you are providing..."

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