Fast Buck offers pension advice: Nic Cicutti on how Yorkshire helps to solve transfer conundrum by going independent

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The Independent Online
Employees wondering whether to transfer benefits from an occupational into a personal scheme are being offered the chance of independent actuarial advice.

Yorkshire Building Society has teamed up with Buck Consultants, a firm of actuaries, to offer a pension transfer analysis service.

Buck Consultants advises hundreds of corporate clients about pension schemes, including those of two financial watchdogs, the Securities and Investments Board and Fimbra, for independent advisers.

For pounds 75, half its usual price, Buck will prepare a report on benefits from a scheme and the investment returns needed to match them.

The report will also assess requirements such as retirement age and benefits to dependants before making a recommendation.

Applicants fill in a five-page questionnaire about their current scheme and long-term needs. Permission is sought to obtain further details from scheme trustees.

Yorkshire's new service comes in the wake of a report last month by the SIB that more than 80 per cent of 500,000 pension transfers in the past five years may have been mis-sold.

Lynn Coleman, insurance manager at the society, said that until last year it offered clients a similar in-house computer analysis free.

The society had decided that for savers to feel safe about the quality of any advice they were receiving, it was important for them to know that it was fully independent and carried out by another firm at arms' length.

'Many commentators are urging people to consult an actuary, but obtaining that kind of expert service is often difficult in terms of availability and cost,' Ms Coleman said.

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