New data shows the benefits of financial advice can outweigh the cost by nearly 6,000%

07 Sep 2015

  • Cost of most financial advice remains unchanged from last year, despite the complications of pension freedom
  • Twenty-two per cent of advisers say that their advice can benefit people at any wealth level
  • Advisers offer free initial reviews on pensions and finances through
  • The website’s new Cost of Advice guide shows consumers what they can expect to pay across a range of services

The latest research from, the UK’s No.1 adviser search, reveals the remarkable cost-benefit ratio for those who take financial advice.

The third annual Cost of Advice guide reveals the average fees charged by financial advisers for common advice scenarios, and confirms that fees are holding steady despite the rising demand and the additional complications resulting from pension freedom. When combined with research from the Value of Advice report by and MetLife, the new data illustrates for the first time how significant the financial benefits of pension advice in particular can be.

Typical adviser fees1

The figures are based on a survey of advisers listed on the database, which is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the UK.

The median hourly rate charged by advisers is £150, unchanged from 2014, a drop of 14 per cent compared to 2013. The cost of retirement advice has also remained at a similar level to last year. Below are some common advice scenarios and their typical costs over the past three years. 

Advice scenario

Median fee charged 2013

Median fee charged 2014

Median fee charged 2015

Hourly fee




Initial financial review and report




Advice on a £200/ month pension contribution




Advice for investment strategy for a £50,000 inheritance for a 50-year old seeking medium term growth




Advice on converting a £100,000 pension fund into a lump sum and annuity





Advice on a £200,000 pension pot (client requires full advice




Advice on setting up a drawdown scheme on a £300,000 pension fund




Karen Barrett, chief executive of, comments: ‘The pension reforms have renewed the focus on people’s access to financial advice, and also on the cost of this advice. Our findings show this cost remains steady, despite the added complications of pension freedom. Even more encouraging is the finding that nearly a quarter of advisers (twenty-two per cent) will advise clients at all wealth levels and don’t set a minimum level of assets.

‘People should not be afraid to talk about costs in their very first conversation with an adviser. We hope this research will give people a valuable reference point and the confidence they need to book that first appointment.’

Cost vs benefits

The 2015 Value of Advice report by and MetLife revealed that people who had taken financial advice saved on average £71 more per month than non-advised savers. Setting these findings alongside the Cost of Advice research makes it possible to see how the benefits compare to the costs.

Benefits from advice on retirement planning:

The numbers

Start at age 35

Start at age 25

Cost of advice on a £200/month pension contribution1



Boost to retirement savings2

extra £25,730 in pension pot (excl. tax relief and interest)

extra £34,300 in pension pot (excl. tax relief and interest)

Return on the initial cost of advice3



Karen Barrett continued:

‘These findings show quite dramatically how the cost of retirement planning advice can be dwarfed by the long-term benefits. The Value of Advice report found that, on average, people who take advice on their retirement planning have an estimated £48,279 more in their pot compared to those in a similar income bracket who do not take advice4, with tax relief and interest factored in. It’s hard to think of a more clear-cut demonstration of value for money.

‘It’s also important not to underestimate the additional benefits of advice, such as time savings, confidence and peace of mind. Our research has shown time and again that seeking professional advice sooner rather than later is the most game-changing factor when it comes to planning for retirement.’

For a free and confidential search for a whole-of-market financial adviser, visit 


Notes to editors:

The Cost of Advice guide with typical costs for common advice scenarios can be viewed at

1 research carried out in April 2013 (166 advisers), October 2014 (147 advisers) and July 2015 (230 advisers).

2 Value of Advice research 2015

3 Return on initial cost of advice:

Start at age 35 = [(25,730-580)/580] x 100 = 4,336%

Start at age 25 = [(34,300-580)/580] x 100 = 5,813%

4 Based upon a pension pot of £100,000, MetLife has estimated the total increase as a result of saving an additional £71 per month from 40 to 65 years of age. This assumption accounts for a fund management charge of 0.5% per annum and contract management charges, tax relief of 20% and investment growth of 5% per annum. The assumption is based on a range of annuities, details of which can be found here.

For more information contact:

Anna Schirmer/ Sarah Tye/Calum MacDougall, Lansons: 020 7294 3682

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Category: Value of Advice Tagged: Cost of advice

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