Punter Southall Aspire has been appointed by Ensign to provide advice on retirement options to its master trust members.
As part of this deal Punter Southall Aspire will offer both generalised retirement guidance as well as regulated advice. This service will be offered alongside Ensign’s new drawdown account.
Ensign – the shipping and maritime pensions specialist – has launched the new drawdown account to offer more flexible retirement options, while also improving member’s engagement in planning for retirement.
Ensign’s Master Trust currently covers 80 employers, and 4,450 members. It has £100 million of assets under management.
The new account will allow members to benefit from the 2015 pension freedoms, without having to transfer their pension. The plan is fully portable allowing members to move jobs or career.
Punter Southall Aspire will provide guidance or advice to members on all the options available so they can make informed decisions on how to access their funds in the most appropriate and efficient way.
Research undertaken by Ensign last year showed that while people are becoming more financially-savvy many have significant knowledge gaps around pension.
This found that less than half of employees (42 per cent) knew how much they are paying into their pension, three out of four were unaware what costs or charges they were paying, while the majority said they did not know how much money they will need to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
Ensign chief executive Andrew Waring says: “Pensions communications can be full of jargon and overwhelming for even the most financially astute.
“The new account and at retirement guidance and advice will simplify the customer experience and support them in making informed financial planning decisions.”
Punter Southall Aspire has also partnered with VouchedFor, a provider of Pension Advice Vouchers. Members who use these vouchers will benefit from tax relief on their financial advice.
They will be able to fund the first £500 of pensions advice each year through salary sacrifice, potentially saving them up to £310 in income tax and national insurance – although exact savings will depend on member’s earnings and applicable tax and NI rates.
Punter Southall Aspire’s managing director, proposition development says: “We look forward to offering retirement guidance and advice to Ensign’s 4,450 members. Our experienced team will provide support, guidance and advice to members, enabling them to make informed financial decisions and achieve the best retirement outcomes.”