Our pension freedoms marketing campaign
Alex Lannin, technical services manager for Francis Clark Financial Planning, tells ABR how the firm is using the new pension rules to raise its profile and attract new clients in the South West
ABR: How are you approaching the new pension rules as a business?
Alex Lannin: The new pension rules may have come out of nowhere but they present a huge opportunity for financial advice firms from 6 April when people get access to their pension pots. The risk is that people will not understand the implications of extracting the cash from their pension or how to manage their retirement pot to their best advantage or simply to ensure they don’t run out of money. So it’s important that they get good financial advice.
We are using our profile in the South West to run a campaign in the local media, on social media and on our the website, to try to educate people around the changes to the pension rules as well as promote ourselves as a chartered financial planning firm, so people will come to us for quality financial advice. Hopefully it will benefit them and it will benefit us.
ABR: Do you see this as a new target market?
AL: We’re expecting to get a lot of clients off the back of people that use the Francis Clark accountancy practice who will want pensions advice because of the rules changes, but also there will be an awful lot of people out there who have pension pots that have been growing over time who may never have engaged with a financial adviser and who now find they have to make decisions about a potentially large pot of money.
Previously people would receive their pack from their pension provider and just tick the box for the provider’s annuity. Now those packs will be changing and there is going to be a wealth of different options open to them. People will be seeking advice because they simply won’t know which option is going to be best for them or simply what to do.
Plus, inevitably, there is going to be a lot of press in the lead up to 6 April and whether it’s good or bad press it’s going to get people thinking about pensions and considering taking some form of advice and looking for someone to speak to.
We’re going to leverage our reputation as a chartered financial planning firm to attract people who are looking for advice. We consider ourselves as pensions specialists as we have an awful lot of experience within our firm on the pensions side – all our financial advisers are qualified to give advice on pensions.
We’re going to have a big campaign – we’ll have videos out on YouTube, adverts in the local press, and hopefully we’ll be able to get some articles in the press too. We’re also looking to radio as an option.
ABR: What type of client are you expecting to attract?
AL: The type of clients we’re aiming for are those with larger pots that will need ongoing advice based on their choices made under the new pensions rules. That said, we know we’re going to get people come to us with smaller pots that may well require just a one-off transaction. We don’t want to turn those people away because they will still need advice. So we’re trying to build a solution that will have a range of different options depending on what people need and want to do.
For example, if an annuity is right for a client then we’ll transact an annuity. There will be other options – I know providers are building solutions that potentially might fit clients who have smaller pots but want a form of drawdown.
It’s a big opportunity for the product providers – there are all sorts of different solutions that can be built. How many of them will be ready and in the market on 6 April will remain to be seen.