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Compare Pension Providers - What To Look For

Compare Pension Providers - What To Look For
Published:  22 Feb at 6 PM
A major problem with researching pensions is the amount of information that is available to you. This sounds like a good thing but it can be a very confusing field when combining all the complicated terms that pension providers throw at you as they attempt to create and package their products, just like any business. Huge sums are spent on advertising and marketing all "financial products" including pensions.

Some Independent Financial Advisers feel that unscrupulous pension providers are well aware that "normal human beings" are likely to be confused by the terms they use and the general complexity hidden behind apparently accessible brochures. Too many lack transparency. You will get tonnes of written material which contain all kinds of terminology that no normal person could understand.

Another frequent problem is that the shortness of time and sometime pressuring providers, combined with the fact that as a nation we have a terrible tendency to impulse buy means that it often makes it easy to slip up and end up purchasing a pension plan that isn’t really appropriate for your needs.

When you look into buying a pension the chances are you'll find it's a minefield of glossy brochures and confusing claims. A huge amount of money is spent on supposedly explaining the issues in an apparently "easy to follow" way. But actually that's often not the true intention - which is rather to achieve what can be termed "confusion marketing": If the customer is confused they're more likely to buy something that's bad for them but profitable for the supplier.

Perhaps you've tried to compare prices for different mobile phones... it's almost as if the different suppliers don't really want to be compared easily with each other. There are so many variables and catches, such as different types of charges at different times of the day. So what do you do? If you want a mobile, without taking real time and effort to conduct some serious research, you probably just have to bite the bullet, buy one and hope for the best.

But if you do this with a pension it could be a serious mistake which the "older you" will regret in due course.

And one final point. All that clever stuff in the brochures counts for nothing if it all goes wrong. Everything is surrounded by disclaimers and you'll be told you were an idiot not to understand the small print – even if top lawyers can't make head or tail of it. Fortunately, with pensions, you can turn to an Independent Financial Adviser to help you and if they don't give you best advice you can claim compensation.

A major factor of sales psychology is that we tend to buy things from people we like. Are you buying your pension because the salesperson is pleasant, attractive? Perhaps you would be best off choosing someone who isn't quite so agreeable. After all if they don't rely on charm, yet are still in business, it could well be due to word of mouth recommendations which often where Independent Financial Advisers come in.

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