1. INITIAL MEETING
The initial meeting, whether conducted in person, over the phone or via Skype, is a complimentary “Getting to know you” session. During the meeting you will have the opportunity to ask as many questions about our service, qualifications, Code of Ethics and fee structure as you wish. The point of this meeting is for you to decide whether to engage our services in a non-pressured environment. After introducing the practice by way of presenting our Financial Services Guide, Privacy Statement, FPA Code of Ethics charter and our adviser profile we will take this opportunity to gain a broad understanding of your financial position and what your main current concerns are.
It would be extremely beneficial if you could email us your current Statement of Entitlement CETV or Statement of Benefits so we can explain these documents to you in a meaningful way.
From this session we will outline potential strategies that could be employed and how we can implement. You will then be invited to consider whether or not to engage our services and if so we will make a future appointment date.
We take this approach to the initial meeting because as a boutique financial planning firm we only engage with clients once they are comfortable with us and our processes.
The second meeting is all about you. This is a data gathering session where we will enquire about your UK Pension funds, cash flow, assets and liabilities, superannuation and other investments, and your specific goals over the short, medium and long-term.
Once we establish the services you require, the appropriate fees will be agreed upon based on the time it will take to create your financial plan. No work will commence without your authorisation and you will have complete control over what aspects of advice we address in your plan.
3. PLAN PREPARATION
Our premier service offering for clients with UK Pension benefits may involve engaging with a UK FCA regulated advice team. Since April 2015, it has been obligatory for any possible transfer of a UK defined benefits (or safeguarded benefits such as S32, GARS or With Profits) pension scheme to be undertaken by a UK based pension transfer specialist with defined benefit pension transfer permissions.
We have relationships with UK based advisers who deliver non-contingent advice. This means their advice to you; whether you transfer out of a defined benefit scheme or not, is not based on whether they will gain a “sale” or not. This is by far the most ethical method for receiving advice on your scheme entitlement and the only one we will engage with on your behalf.
Their advice is also, therefore, completely independent of our own, as we neither wish to; or are regulated to influence their recommendation.
Our role in this process is to explain to the UK adviser how any potential new strategy will be charged, and we need to describe all product costs, our fee structure and the investment management costs for your potential portfolio. This is the only process that delivers a balanced and equitable advice report to you. Therefore, we need to design your strategy before requesting the UK based advice report.
We complete this process as a complimentary service to you, as we have taken the ethical stance that you need to have a balanced, compliant UK financial adviser document before engaging our service. This is part of our corporate positioning to ensure we deliver quality advice to you. You will be responsible for settling the invoice payment for this advice.
If the advice is to transfer out of your UK defined benefit scheme, then we will prepare our highly personalised Statement of Advice report. This is a comprehensive analysis and advice report which covers your full range of options including:
- Whether you should retain your pension fund as a defined benefit scheme in the UK;
- Whether you should transfer your pension fund to a UK based SIPP
- Whether you should transfer your pension plan to an Australian scheme
- Whether you should employ a tranching strategy of a combination of UK SIPP and Australian QROPS, or;
- In rare cases whether you should transfer to an alternative jurisdiction QROPS
4. PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL PLAN
When we have completed your highly personalised Statement of Advice (SoA) we will arrange a meeting to go through the advice document, highlighting any particular areas of specific interest and answer any questions that you may have. We will send you a bound copy of our advice documentation with the UK pension adviser’s advice report and Selectapension report included as appendices, so you have one reference point. The implementation of this advice will not commence until you have received satisfactory answers to all your questions.
5. IMPLEMENTING THE AGREED PLAN
After an agreed amount of time, and only when you are completely comfortable and fully understand our recommendations we will commence the implementation process of our advice. This may include completing online investments and superannuation applications, insurance applications, and organising a joint meeting with your lawyer in the case of estate planning needs, or your accountant if required.
Once you have transferred your pension funds to a UK based SIPP or complying Australian QROPS fund this is not the end of the process.
It is important we stay in regular contact, either quarterly, half yearly or annually to ensure we maintain QROPS compliance of the fund and to ensure the fund is performing both in line with expectations but also in line with your current goals and objectives.
Harding Wealth Management is not a “Set and Forget” practice and we will monitor and review your funds with you throughout the time you engage our services.
6. REVIEWING THE PLAN
Financial planning is a dynamic process. The plan that we create will include assumptions about legislation, investment performance, and your lifestyle.
As your life progresses we will be able to adjust your plan on a regular basis to ensure it is on track to meet your needs and goals. This is particularly true for any investments but also for insurances we may have structured for you. It is only through regular communication with us that we can keep your plans on track.
This will be most relevant if our recommended strategy is to transfer to a UK SIPP and tranche your funds to an Australian QROPS over time, or if you are not age eligible to transfer to Australia and require reviews of your SIPP.