Only 8% of people speak to an adviser about financial decisions

Talking through the online facts and figures
  • 47% make financial decisions on their own
  • 41% make financial decisions with their partner/spouse
  • This is despite previous research** findings that just 14% of people are confident about planning their retirement goals and investing themselves, with 20% being comfortable deciding how to access their pension at retirement independently

A recent survey* by Aegon into how people make financial decisions found that only 8% of people currently speak to a financial adviser about their financial decisions.

The majority (47%) said they make financial decisions on their own, while 41% said they made decisions with their partner or spouse.

This is despite previous research** findings indicating that when it comes to pension and retirement specific decisions, confidence levels are low. Just 14% of people are confident about planning their retirement goals and investing themselves, with only 20% being comfortable deciding how to access their pension independently.

Steven Cameron, Pension Director said:

“The low take-up of financial advice is very worrying. Greater personal responsibility for retirement planning combined with increased levels of economic and political uncertainty, mean people need professional financial advice more than ever. In fact there are few people who wouldn’t benefit from financial advice at some point in their lives, especially since the introduction of pension freedoms.

“Our findings emphasise the scale of the task facing the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) in making advice and guidance more accessible. It’s important the FAMR delivers on the recommendations made last year and opens up access to advice in its widest sense.

“In the meantime, people shouldn’t feel they have to make financial decisions on their own. For some people, the support they need may be relatively simple and there are free sources of guidance available, for example from Pension Wise on pension freedoms. Providers and possibly their employers can also provide basic information. But for the more important or difficult decisions people should seriously consider paying for financial advice and in many cases, the benefits of getting things right can far outweigh the costs. It might be money well spent to ensure they are doing the best they can with their finances for their financial futures.”

Last year, as part of the FAMR, the government announced plans to give pre retirees access to £500 of their pension pot in order to pay for advice. The final details are yet to be confirmed.

“The new Pension Advice Allowance (PAA) may be one means of starting to bridge the pension advice gap. But in fact, many pension providers already allow customers to request that some of their current pension pot is paid to an adviser to cover the cost of advice on that pension.

“It’s important that the final decisions on new PAA make it flexible enough to reach a wide range of pension savers, not just those approaching retirement. But we must also recognise there are reasons beyond cost that people might not seek financial advice that also need to be addressed as an industry.”

Things to consider when seeking advice

  • Not sure where to start. For those who have never sought advice before, it can be quite overwhelming to know where to start looking. While friends and family might be the first choice of where to turn for help, don’t forget guidance is available from Pension Wise as a starting point while services like can connect people with a financial adviser.
  • Fear of cost. Don’t rule out advice before finding out the cost, as it might be more affordable than you think. Make sure you check out the options.
  • The trust factor. Unfortunately there are conmen out there and people should be very sceptical about unsolicited calls from people claiming to offer a free pension review or other forms of financial advice.  

7 reasons to speak to a financial adviser when planning for retirement

  •  Selecting a pension product
  • Planning your retirement goals and where to invest your money to meet them
  • Deciding how to access your pension
  • Consolidating your pension saving into one pot
  • Transferring a pension from one provider to another
  • Reviewing investment performance or changing funds
  • Inheritance tax planning


*Research was conducted by Aegon with the Aegon UK consumer panel. Total sample size was 1,004 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken in October 2016.

 **Research was conducted by OnePoll. Total sample size was 2,000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken in September 2015.


Further information

Stephanie Melrose

PR Manager
Aegon UK
Tel: 0131 549 6743

Mob: 07740 897 621

Notes to Editors

  • In the UK, Aegon offers retirement, workplace savings and protection solutions to around two million customers and employs approximately 2,000 staff. More information:
  • As an international life insurance, pensions and asset management company based in The Hague, Aegon has businesses in over twenty five markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Aegon companies employ over 28,000 people and have millions of customers across the globe. Further information:
  • Aegon is the Lead Partner of British Tennis.

Aegon is a brand name of Scottish Equitable plc. Scottish Equitable plc, registered office: Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh EH12 9SE. Registered in Scotland (No. 144517). Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Register number 165548. An Aegon company.


© 2017 Aegon UK plc.