Learning Material Sample

Retirement planning

12. Analysing needs and choosing products

In this chapter we identify how an individual’s circumstances help identify their retirement needs. We also discuss the potential suitability of retirement products.

There are a number of circumstances that are likely to affect an individual’s need for retirement provision. We shall identify these in the immediate sub-headings below.


When advising clients on retirement planning it is important to understand the surrounding economy in that it can have a profound effect on the provision that can be made and ultimately the benefits to be received at retirement.

Personal circumstances ...

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... pension product recommendation will depend a lot on what has already been discussed above. It is essential that to maximise the benefits of effecting registered pension products, not least the tax advantages, that the client is recommended a product that fits in with their circumstances and employment position. One criticism often thrown at registered pension schemes is their lack of flexibility and accessibility particularly pre-retirement.

Eligibility in terms of whether a client is actually able to be a member of a registered pension scheme is always the starting point when considering suitable product solutions. It is important to establish whether a client is eligible to join a suitable arrangement already available such as an employer’s occupational pension scheme before making recommendations for further private provision.


Contributions to registered pension schemes are unlimited although there is a cap on the level of employee contributions that can be made that will accept tax relief. In additi...

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...ial strength of various providers.

Quality of service

Quality of service is important when selecting a suitable pension plan provider. Excellent performance and low charges count for little, when the client incurs delays in receiving information and services or continuous mistakes are made.

Premium rates and underwriting

These will be an important factor to consider where the client requires some form of protection cover e.g. pension contribution insurance. Areas such as cost could impact on affordability. But these need to be considered hand in hand with the stringency of underwriting required.

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