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Defined Benefits – Pension Advice

The FCA & Adviser Insurance Position

In early 2018 the Financial Conduct Authority stated that they believe that in the case of most clients, the assumption should be that retaining their Defined Benefit scheme with guarantees, or those with “safeguarded” benefits, is the best advice solution.

The FCA believes that any starting point should be : –

The client outcome at retirement,

The objectives of the client overall, and

The DB schemes potential in meeting those objectives or assisting in meeting the outcomes.

The FCA does not like the separation of advice of the ‘transfer’ from the transfer itself, including any ‘investment’ in the new pension, as they believe that this results in poor outcomes for clients.

In practice, “signing off” of Defined Benefit pension transfers has led to numerous claims against adviser firms, which has led to the largest Public Indemnity (PI) insurer going into liquidation and also scrutiny by MPs at parliament throughout 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The FCA has also changed the amount of compensation available through the FOS and implemented full reviews of firms in 2019 and 2020. This has led to some adviser firms now being refused PI cover and going out of business, along with restrictions in the cover where it is provided.

Defined Benefit Transfer UK SIPP Advice Brochure Screenshot
Defined Benefit Transfer UK SIPP Advice Brochure
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Our Position

Aisa Financial Planning Ltd has the necessary FCA permissions to provide advice to clients with Defined Benefits (final salary) schemes and those with ‘safeguarded’ benefits in excess of £30,000.

We follow FCA Best Practice and always strive to achieve positive outcomes for all the clients we work with. We have always believed that a ‘Sign Off’ is not in a client’s best interests and as such, we do not provide ‘Sign Offs’. We are a Chartered Financial Planning firm and we see our role as assisting clients to be in the best position they can be through sound advice and long term planning.

To achieve this, we work with our clients and guide them where they require our knowledge and expertise.

Defined Benefit Transfers - image of man being guided through a maze to images of pound-signs

What We Will Do

We follow FCA Best Practice and always strive to achieve positive outcomes for all the clients we work with. We offer a fee based Abridged Advice as a starting point so you will not waste your money;

After Abridged Advice, we can review all your pensions and any Defined Benefit pension for a fixed fee and provide a comprehensive Pension Report with an analysis, based on your unique circumstances;

After a meeting with a pension transfer specialist, we will provide a personal recommendation;

If the advice is to transfer, and you decide to follow our advice, we provide a Final Recommendation Report and arrange for the transfer;

Optional: We can then provide a tailored investment report, with the recommended funds;

Optional: We can provide bespoke ongoing investment advice up to and beyond retirement.

What We Will Not Do

We will not do a ‘Sign Off’ for a client;

We will not ‘Sign Off’ reports for other Adviser firms. We require direct contact with the client at all times;

We will not recommend any transfer where the client then wishes to invest the funds themselves * (see below)

We will not recommend any transfer where the client appoints a third party to do the transfer or investments without our oversight * (see below)

* If the recommendation within the Project Report is not to transfer, Aisa Financial Planning will provide no further advice on the matter and will not be party to any subsequent transfer, although we can continue to provide advice on other areas that may be of assistance in meeting your objectives and goals.

FCA explains defined benefit transfer process    FCA Video ›



We believe that our service is what the FCA is insisting on in their latest review paper and that it meets our PI requirements.

As a professional company that cares about our clients, we believe this will enable us to continue to offer this valuable service. If you, or your colleagues, are interested in a professional service that has PII cover and future protection from a reputable company then, we would be pleased to assist you.

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