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Pensions Scandal: Transfer to a personal plan gave flexibility and control

Graham Stow, who works in London for the insurance broker Minets, is very happy about the decision that he took three years ago to transfer his pension fund from his former employer, a large retailer.

Since then, his fund has grown by about 20 per cent.

Mr Stow was given the name of a financial adviser by George Davis of Next, when he decided to change his job.

He was attracted by the flexibility offered by a personal pension and by the control over his investments that he would receive.

'I decided that I wanted to review my pension when I left my job,' he says, 'although I knew that occupational schemes were a good thing. I was very sceptical about personal pensions. I went to a financial adviser who gave me a lot of information and a very detailed letter about the options available to me.'

His pension fund is invested in a variety of different funds with a substantial portion in cash.

He says that his financial adviser gave him details about the investment strategy that his pension scheme should adopt.

'If you are in a company scheme, there is a lot less flexibility,' Mr Stow says. 'I want to retire in my mid-fifties. You cannot do that if you are in an occupational scheme.'

'I also like the way that you can monitor the performance of your pension.'

Mr Stow was 47 years old when he decided to transfer his pension.

(Photograph omitted)