Martin Lewis analyses self-employed pension options – SIPPs & stakeholder schemes reviewed

Martin Lewis talks -employed pension options with expert

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Martin Lewis covered exclusively on yesterday’s Money Show Live, as the Money Saving Expert urged workers to take their retirement savings seriously. A woman named Kim rang in to ask Martin for his advice on what options self-employed workers should look into.

Kim detailed she is a self-employed driving instructor who has yet to set up a private pension.

Martin confirmed with her that she 35 and is set up as a sole trader.

As such, Martin turned to David Breaithwaite, a Financial Planner for Citrus Financial, for assistance: “David, my assumption would be for someone starting off [as self-employed] the simplest form of pension is a stakeholder pension that has limited charges.

“The big two ones are Aviva and Standard Life, is that where you’d be going on this?”

David responded with the following: “Yes absolutely, it depends on how complicated she wants to make it as well.

“So a stakeholder is a great place to start, low cost, low charging, it’s easy and simple.

“You can go to personal pension, you can go to financial advisors get advice or she go, if she wanted to, go ‘full fat’ and have a SIPP If she maybe wanted to put her property or an office that she’s got for her driving instructor school into it.”

Martin broke down what David said into simple terms, explaining that a stakeholder pension was the basic option available but personal pension plans through advisors could be beneficial for those with more money.

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However, using advisors could be costly and Martin queried David on when that cost could be justified.

Fortunately, David provided a tangible number for guidance: “It varies really but I would say once you’re starting to look beyond a stakeholder pension and paying about £3,600 a year in, it might be worth looking at that and getting some more detailed advice on investing in some proper funds.”

Martin then went on to note that those who have “sophisticated” knowledge of financial matters, they may want to look into SIPPs as these pension plans will allow people to control their own investments.

Before Martin moved onto his next subject, he turned to Kaya Marchant, another guest on the show who was a pensions specialist at the Money and Pensions Service, a state backed advisory organisation.

Martin asked Kaya when people should turn to her organisation as opposed to seeking out private advice.

Kaya responded with the following: “There’s a number of different reasons why you may want to seek guidance, but really it’s just to get more knowledge, be more informed and be more confident and hopefully [you will then] make an informed decision.

“You may still want to seek financial advice or get a personal recommendation, So it really depends on your circumstances.”

Martin concluded by rounding up what he had learned from the two experts: “So, [you would go to] the free service of the pension advisory services if you want guidance and to understand how things work and ask generic questions, where you’d go to a pension advisor if you want help picking an actual product or if you have sort of a more complicated pension option out there.”

It should be noted the Money and Pensions Service are not the only organisation people can turn to for free and impartial pension advice.

For guidance on pension matters, a long with a whole host of other financial concerns, consumers can turn to the following:

  • Pension Wise
  • Citizens Advice
  • The Money Advice Service

Additionally, the Government’s website is regularly updated with the latest legislative changes and plans.

Do you have a money dilemma which you’d like a financial expert’s opinion on? If you would like to ask one of our finance experts a question, please email your query to personal.finance@reachplc.com. 

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