Financial advisers are regarded as having a key role to play in stopping people making costly errors when it comes to decisions about their pensions, according to a new survey by Intelliflo.

When asked what elements of advice they valued most from a qualified financial adviser in respect of their pension savings, ‘stopping me from making costly errors’ ranked third (36%) in the top three. The top two were: ‘explaining what my options are with what I have saved’ (43%) and ‘helping me to have more money during my retirement than I would expect to have if I didn’t get their advice’ (42%).

The survey, which polled 1,000 UK adults earning over £40,000, also found that:

  • The majority (39%) would need to have saved £100,000 or more in their pension before they would visit a financial adviser for advice about how to manage it
  • Around one in seven would seek advice if they had less than £10,000
  • Just over one in 10 (11%) said they would need between £10,000 and £25,000
  • Just over one in 10 (11%) would need between £25,000 and £50,000
  • Just under a quarter (24%) said they would need between £50,000 and £100,000 saved

Nick Eatock, Intelliflo’s Executive Chairman comments: "Our poll highlights that financial advisers have a key role to play in protecting their clients from themselves when it comes to making decisions about how they manage their pensions.

"The publicity around the recent pension changes has highlighted that the new freedoms have the potential to be a poisoned chalice. This presents a good opportunity for advisers to reach out to pension savers to explain how they can help them make wise decisions."

When asked about paying for advice, the survey found that:

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  • A fixed pre-agreed hourly rate is the most popular with those polled (35%)
  • Just one in eight (12%) said they would prefer paying via a percentage of the total investment value
  • One in 10 (10%) would like a combination of both options
  • Worryingly, the majority (43%) said they intend to manage their pension options without seeking any professional advice

Asked what they think is a reasonable hourly rate for a fully qualified, independent financial adviser to charge, the results show:

  • A third (33%) said less than £50 per hour
  • Almost a third (30%) said between £50 and £100 per hour
  • Almost one in five (18%) said between £100 and £150 per hour was reasonable
  • Almost one in 10 (9%) said between £150-£200 per hour
  • One in 25 said between £200 and £300 per hour
  • One in 17 (6%) said £300 or more would be reasonable, although among the 55+ age group one in eight thought more than £300 per hour was reasonable