Frequently asked questions (FAQ) for individual clients

Who is William Burrows and Retirement IQ?

My name is William Burrows and I have been involved with helping people make the best decisions when converting their pension pots into cash and income (annuities and drawdown) for over 25 years.

I am passionate about helping people make the right decisions when they retire and specialise in providing clear and easy to understand information about the new pension freedoms.

See my guides and publications

Read more about William Burrows

What do you do?

I wear two hats:

  • 1- I run (this website) which provide clear and easy to understand information about the new pension freedoms
  • 2- I give regulated financial advice on all aspects of annuities and pension drawdown as an adviser with Better Retirement*

Read more about getting Help, Guidance and Advice

* BRG is recognised as one the UK’s leading specialist retirement income advisers and is are often quoted in the national press. Better Retirement Group Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, reference number 153420 and William Burrows is personally authorised to give advice through BRG.

How can Retirement IQ help financial advisers?

My philosophy is that I cannot tell advisers how to run their businesses or how to give advice but I can share my many years’ experience to help advisers get better outcomes for their clients and improve their advice process.

I can help advisers in the following ways

  • Giving free access to my annuity and drawdown calculators – my unique annuity charts are amongst the popular pages - Go to charts and calculators
  • Providing the UK’s only online marketplace of retirement income solutions – this is a valuable research tool - Go to the marketplace
  • Publishing adviser specific guides - Go to the library

Can you help me with specific questions or client cases?

Yes I will be pleased to help. Just email or phone me - contact me

Do you run training courses for advisers?

Yes I have some really good training material including my popular ‘skills of the trade’ presentation. Skills of the trade

How can Retirement IQ help individual clients?

How do I go about getting advice and what does it cost

Generally, there are three steps in the advice process

  • First you are just putting your ‘toe in the water’ – I will explain your options and discuss the key questions and important issues (there is no charge or commitment at this stage)
  • Secondly, we will discuss your retirement plans including income requirements, retirement objectives and attitude to risk– I will prepare a short report setting out which options are relevant to your circumstances (I will agree our fees based on the amount of work to be done but there is nothing payable at this stage)
  • Thirdly, I will advise you which solution is best for your circumstances – my advice is set out in a ‘suitability letter’ (You can choose how to pay our fee and most people choose to have fees paid out of the pension fund)

To start the ball rolling I will send you our terms of business and our retirement planning questionnaire.

I don’t want advice at the moment – just information and a chat

You do not have to jump straight in and get advice because you get help and information in one of the following ways:

What are the key questions to ask about retirement income planning

Before you decide which option is the most suitable for your circumstances you owe it yourself (and to your family) to take some time to ask yourself some really important questions:

  • When is the best time to take cash or income?
  • How much cash or income do you need now and in the future?
  • How much risk should you take and how much risk can you take?
  • Will you be paying too much tax?
  • What is your (and your partner’s) life expectancy and what is the state of your health?
  • What should happen after your death?

At first sight, these questions may appear simple, but in practice they are some of the most difficult questions in personal finance.

Important issues

Before you can answer these questions, you need to understand some important issues including:

  • Are annuities good value at current levels?
  • What is the right level of drawdown income and what is the best investment strategy?
  • Are there other alternatives to conventional annuities and standard drawdown?
  • What is the outlook for annuities, interest rates, inflation and the stockmarket?
  • Will the government change pension rules and options in the future?