In most circumstances, it won’t be suitable to transfer a final salary pension scheme however there are some valid reasons why you may want to transfer your defined benefit/final salary pension.
Health or crippling debt may drive a preference for transferring.
The other main categories of client suited to a transfer includes:
- consumers in households with multiple DB or other guaranteed pension income sources that is sufficient meet their needs and
- can accept investment risk and are wanting to
- acquire additional flexibility
- consumers in households with significant other assets, and
- a transfer allows better tax planning
- consumers in households with significant DC pensions or other assets, and
- the DB scheme is not required to meet their needs
- in rare cases, where employer solvency is at risk, consumers who have a DB pension that exceeds the Pension Protection Fund limit.
You may wish to consider a final salary transfer if:
- You are in poor health or have a reduced life expectancy. Because of lifestyle (smoker, drink, jobs like having worked with asbestos etc.)
- You are single. What the Final Salary industry refers to as ‘sick and single’
- You have or will have enough guaranteed income to meet your needs (of necessity) in retirement. ‘Needs’ such as – roof over head (rent, mortgage, utility bills), clothes on your back and food on the table.
- You are happy to take investment risk
- You are looking for greater flexibility of income or benefits in retirement
- You have significant other assets, such as property or shares/cash and you are looking for better overall tax planning
- You have significant Defined Contribution (DC) or money purchase benefits, and your DB benefits are not needed.
If any of the above apply to you then you may be suitable for a Final Salary Transfer.
How it works
The way it works is simple. You are referred to a specialist who will ask you many questions to determine if a transfer is right for you.
The first part of the processes is the Pension Transfer Specialist (Pension Transfer Specialist) will go to abridged advice which is all free. At the abridged advice stage, they will tell you one of two things:
- The transfer is not suitable for you
- They need further information
Regulation prohibits the Pension Transfer Specialist from a positive recommendation to transfer at abridged advice. In most cases, if 2. above applies this will very often lead to a positive recommendation to transfer.
There are now a couple of Pension Transfer Specialist firms who will consider an ‘insistent customer’. This is someone who has been advised not to transfer but would still like to transfer anyway.
How long does it take
These whole processes can take weeks, often months.
Once transferred there are no restrictions on what you can take or when (over age 55). You will also benefit 100% from the new Pension Freedoms passed in 2015.