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Mystery Shopper: South Woodford

This week (at time of printing) the shopper is in South Woodford, London. He is 26, earns £23,000 a year as a chef for a small independent restaurant and is keen to set up a pension. Lately he has started to worry about his future and would like advice on the best options.

Adviser (Independent) Caton Fry Financial Services, Essex House, 7-8 The Shrubberies, George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1BD

Speed of response: Time of call: 3.54pm. Four rings and answered directly by the adviser. 5/5

Telephone Manner: Friendly, patient and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: G60 pension qualification and level-four professional diploma. 5/5

Payment method: Fees were generally paid upfront, either as a percentage or a flat fee. 4/5

Guidance given: The adviser was immediately keen to get some background information on the shopper’s employment and whether his company offered a pension. He stressed that the company could already have a scheme in place as part of auto-enrolment and that it could otherwise help to pay any upfront fees. Overall he said that setting up a pension is very straightforward and a number of options, including Sipps and stakeholder pensions, were available. 5/5

Knowledge: Good. The adviser answered all the shopper’s questions well and appeared very clued up on the different options available. 4/5

Email/web presence: 5/5

Verdict: A positive experience. The adviser patiently explained different pension schemes and how they worked and offered some good advice on auto-enrolment and the support employers should be able to provide.


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