How to choose a pension FSA, and/or do I need to?

I'm approaching 65 and have three pension funds that I need to do something with. With the current economic downturn we probably do actually need to turn them into some income rather than just sitting on them for a while.
It seems that the only real options are to leave them with the existing providers to buy an annuity or to go for the 'open market' option to take the money out and look for the best place to buy an annuity.
So, how do I choose a good independent adviser? I have a couple of possibles (one pointed to by HSBC, one recommended by a friend) but haven't a clue really as to whether they're any good. Alternatively I suppose I could just do it myself, save the cost of the adviser but not make such a good choice, probably.
Any/all advice and ideas would be very welcome.
Reply to
tinnews
Doing it yourself is almost certainly out. How will you know who is the bes t provider on the day? Are you aware of the various options that can be ope n to you? Have you asked advisers what they will charge (or have you just m ade the assumption that going through an adviser will be more expensive tha n doing it yourself?
Adviser charges are, at the moment, divided into fees or commission. Probab ly, an adviser that charges a fee will rebate any commission, but you'd nee d to ask. If you try to do it yourself all that will happen is that the com pany you choose will give you the same (or possibly worse) deal than you'd have got via the adviser, and avoid having to pay anyone any commission. If the adviser rebates the commssion (something only he can do - not you) the n the annuity will be enhanced, but you'll pay him a fee instead (out of yo ur taxed income).
Reply to
cryptogram
I should have added, re choosing an adviser, firstly never take any advice (including who to use as an adviser) from a bank. The only thing that shoul d ever be provided by a bank is a current account. That's what they're for and that's what they are good at. Anything else and you're entering a drago n's den.
Go to unbiased.co.uk and try to select one from there, if you're not sure a bout the one your friend uses.
Reply to
cryptogram
(including who to use as an adviser) from a bank. The only thing that should ever be provided by a bank is a current account. That's what they're for and that's what they are good at. Anything else and you're entering a dragon's den.
about the one your friend uses.
I tried unbiased.co.uk and couldn't find any way to "select one from there", all that seemed to happen was interminable waffle about why it would be a good idea to use an IFA.
What I really want is a few recommendations for actual, real, IFAs that I can contact. Please.
Reply to
tinnews
Strange. It worked for me. Just enter your postcode and select the type of IFA you want. The problem with your question is finding a list that you'd l ike and who are close enough. I could give you the name of one that I'd tru st with my life and who would do you a good job, but then, you don't know m e do you? Am I someone you'd like to have as a referrer? Only you can answe r that question.
Tell me roughly where you live and whether you want this guy's name.
Reply to
cryptogram
Transfer them all into a SIPP (eg Hargreaves - not that I have any particular love for HL). Then take the 25% tax free cash, invest that into cash ISAs, and (when it comes back) the NS&I inflation linked tax free bond, also taxed fixed rate bonds (you may not have enough income for the tax burden to be bad). Only invest the SIPP money into fairly safe, income yielding stuff (the hard part) Take ad-hoc payments as you need them from the SIPP.
Advantages: You are not providing income to the annuity company. Hopefully your money may grow in the SIPP (or lose). It will grow in the ISAs, etc - but barely keeping pace with inflation. When you die any remaining can be left to your kids (less an outrageous 55% tax charge).
Anyway, that's my strategy.
Reply to
Jim

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