Cost and trust biggest barriers to over 50s seeking financial advice

Hannah Godfrey writes...

Trust and cost are the two main barriers stopping the over 50s from seeking financial advice on their retirement income, research by Retirement Advantage has found.

The report Retirement Sentiment Index: Expanding Horizons found more than two-fifths (42%) of the over 50s not planning to use an adviser said they were put off by cost, up from 38% last year.

Although trust in the profession has improved over the past year, it is still a significant barrier, according to Retirement Advantage. In 2016, 38% of respondents said they did not trust advisers compared with 31% who said trust was an issue in 2017.

Meanwhile, 31% did not deem consulting a professional adviser as necessary, while almost a fifth (18%) believed it would not be of any benefit. Some 15% said they trusted their pension provider to give them the advice they need.

Becoming more popular

However, the research also found financial advice was becoming more popular among the over-50s on the whole. More than two-fifths (42%) said they planned to speak to a financial adviser about their retirement options this year, up from 38% in 2016.

That said, the report found the internet was still the most popular source (44%) for information on retirement income, closely followed by the government’s Pension Wise guidance service.

Pensions technical director Andrew Tully said it was encouraging to see more people planning to seek financial advice, adding: “While there is plenty of information and guidance to be found online, professional financial advice will help people get the most from their retirement finances.

“The increase in trust in professional advisers over the last year is positive. However, the increase in those citing cost as a reason for not consulting an adviser is disappointing, particularly in light of the one in six that said they would trust their pension provider to give them the information they need.”

Last week responses to the House of Commons Work and Pension Select Committee inquiry into pension freedom highlighted a public distrust of advisers.