Guidance from Pension Wise

If you have any defined contribution (DC) savings like AVCs, and are over 50 years old, you can have a free guidance call of up to an hour with a pension specialist from Pension Wise (part of the MoneyHelper services from June 2021), a service that is provided by the Government. Pension Wise cannot provide you with guidance about the options available for your Defined Benefit Plan pension.

If you have DC savings, to book your appointment, please call Pension Wise on 0800 138 3944 between 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. They will send you an email confirmation of your booking.

Or you can book an appointment online here.

More information

MoneyHelper is available to provide pension guidance. There is a lot of information about defined benefit schemes available on their website or you can talk with them by:

  • Calling their helpline on 0800 011 3797 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).
  • Webchat (available 9am to 6:20pm, Monday to Friday).

As noted above, if your transfer value is more than £30,000, you will need to take financial advice before transferring to a DC arrangement.


What is financial advice?

Whether you take a regular income for life from the Plan or transfer your pension is a big, irreversible decision and depends on what’s right for you.

By taking financial advice on your retirement options, you’ll receive a specific recommendation on the most suitable option for you, based on your own personal circumstances and financial situation.

This advice must be provided by a person who is appropriately regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This register shows firms that are regulated to provide advice or pension products.

How does this differ from guidance?

Guidance is intended to help you understand the different retirement options available, to enable you to make a decision. However, guidance won’t take into account your personal situation or provide you with a recommendation.

Why might I want to take financial advice?

The decision on whether to take financial advice is a personal one, but there's certain circumstances where taking advice, instead of, or as well as, guidance, may be appropriate if:

  • Your transfer value is greater than £30,000 and you are considering transferring to a DC arrangement. Advice is a legal requirement in this situation.
  • You expect to be affected by tax on pension savings over the Lifetime Allowance (LTA). For the latest LTA allowance, please visit this Government website
  • You have complex retirement income requirements
  • You live or plan to move abroad
  • You have significant other assets (excluding your own home)
  • You are in ill-health
  • You have complex debts to manage
  • You want to start to take your retirement benefits and continue working &/or saving for retirement.

The FCA also provides information about transferring on their website, including a video about transfer advice.

How can I get financial advice?

The Trustees have arranged a discounted rate for you to speak to an independent, FCA regulated financial adviser called Wren Sterling to help you understand the options in more detail and to provide you with financial advice. You will be able to speak to a fully qualified adviser through their helpline.

The discounted cost of retirement advice for the Howden Joinery Pension Plan is £1,465 plus VAT with an additional charge of £200 plus VAT for face to face advice. These figures may be subject to change and are correct as at August 2020.

If you’d like to speak to Wren Sterling call 0808 175 0010 or email

Wren Sterling may not be able to provide advice if you live overseas.

If you’d rather find your own financial adviser, you can:

What does my adviser need to know?

To tailor their advice to you, you’ll need to provide your adviser with information on:

  • Your finances (for example, debts, income, outgoings, savings, other retirement income)
  • Your health and lifestyle
  • Your plans for retirement
  • Your dependants.

You can find suggested questions to ask your adviser on the FCA’s website:

Made a decision?

If you’re ready to do something and have decided on one of the available options, you should follow the steps outlined below which depend on the option you wish to take.

Receive your pension from the Plan

If you want to receive your pension from the Plan, you’ll need to complete the retirement form included in your pack and return it to the Plan administrator.

Transfer your pension away from the Plan

If you want to take a transfer value and transfer your benefits from the Plan to a DC arrangement you will need to have taken financial advice from Wren Sterling or another financial adviser if your transfer value is more than £30,000.

You should request a transfer value pack from the Plan administrator which will contain the information required before taking advice. The transfer value may be higher or lower than the transfer value quoted in the illustrator statement provided with your retirement pack.

Not ready yet?

No worries, you don’t have to do anything if you do not want to. These options will be available in the future for when you are ready to consider starting to receive your Plan benefits.