Jason Hemmings

Independent financial advisers Cornerstone Asset Management have launched snapshot pensions, a free and easy to use pensions review service designed to help people better understand and take action on their pension planning. 

Anyone looking to find put more about their existing pension arrangements (excluding final salary schemes) can use the custom-built snapshot pensions website to access the service and receive a personalised pension report. 

The online service is information only, rather than full advice, but this means there is no need for a meeting or paperwork for people to start getting their pension planning in order. 

Jason Hemmings

The service focuses on three key components of a pension plan, each of which can have a significant impact on how much money people might retire with. These are 

▪ the costs and charges, 

▪ the level of investment risk being taken with the pension funds and 

▪ the performance of the pension funds. 

These are also the elements that people tend not to fully understand and snapshot aims to inform in a simple and engaging manner, leaving the user in a more informed position and with choices regarding what they do next. 

How it works: The user enters contact details and some basic information about their pension plan(s), and the Cornerstone team then gathers relevant information from the pension providers and prepares a personalised pension report, providing clarity around charges, investment risk and fund performance. It is then up to the snapshot user to decide what they do next. 

Cornerstone offers fee-based pension and retirement advice if required but there is absolutely no obligation to proceed to advice to use the service. 

A survey carried out by the Phoenix Group in 2019 found that the average Generation X person in the UK (born between 1966 and 1980) has 11 different employers in their lifetime. This could mean 11 different pensions held with 11 different companies. Organising those pensions can make a big difference to a person’s final retirement pot. 

There are many reasons why people put off organising old pensions, including lack of time, lack of knowledge or not being able to find or fund any professional help. snapshot pensions aims to remove these hurdles and make assistance with pensions available to people who would not normally have access. Cornerstone also hope that snapshot’s simple one-page form and ease of use will encourage people to face a task that they may have been putting off for a long time. 

A pre-launch trial generated the following user feedback: “The content is clear and very well phrased. It avoids jargon and explains the service in detail without being either over-lengthy or patronising in tone. Whoever wrote the content could give lessons to many other organisations !!” Andrew Baldwin, retired IT consultant. 

Cornerstone founding partner Jason Hemmings says: snapshot pensions helps us reach out and support potentially thousands of people who want to know more about their pension plans. A greater understanding of how pensions work is a key step on the journey to successfully planning for retirement.” 

“There are a growing number of services that allow people to transfer their pensions via an app or a website without advice however, we firmly believe that getting to know and understand your existing pensions should come first and that’s exactly what snapshot is designed to do.” 

“We naturally encourage snapshot users to take advice, which can be seamlessly offered by the advisory team at Cornerstone. However, we are also confident that the information that snapshot pensions provides will make the user much better equipped to deal with what can be a complex area of financial planning, even if they choose to make changes directly themselves.” 

The website can be accessed here: https://www.snapshotpensions.co.uk/ 

A photograph of Jason Hemmings is available on request. 

For further information please contact: For more information, please contact Rebecca Kowalski, Compliance Officer at Cornerstone on 07914 391 829, or at rkowalski@cornerstoneam.co.uk

About Cornerstone With offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Cornerstone Asset Management is an award-winning firm focused on wealth management and personal and corporate financial planning. 

Cornerstone was formed in February 2011 by Jason Hemmings, Alan Reid and Laurie Dempster.