Pension Transfer Guidance

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Pension Transfer
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Pension Transfer Advice you can trust.

You may be someone who has spent part or all of your working life employed by a large national employer who during that service provided you with a final salary occupational pension scheme. These schemes are highly sought after as they offer attractive and secure retirement benefits.

With the introduction in April 2015 of the new pension freedoms, members of occupational pension schemes in the private sector have choices that were not previously available. The new pension freedoms give private sector final salary pension scheme members far greater flexibility and access than ever before. With these new retirement benefit freedoms comes responsibility to ensure that your largest asset is used wisely.

Specialist Advice

Occupational Pension Scheme Transfers are a complex area requiring specialised qualified advice. In order for a firm to be able to advice on pension transfers they must hold the appropriate Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) permissions to undertake such advice. A pension transfer must be undertaken by an individual who is deemed to be a pension transfer specialist. In order to achieve this status, the adviser must have passed the relevant examinations and therefore hold the appropriate qualifications. At Estate Capital we have two individuals who hold this status.

Our financial advisers can:

  • Provide a full and detailed report regarding deferred company pension scheme benefits.
  • Provide a comparison of the projected benefits at retirement.
  • Provide a comparison of benefits available on death both pre and post retirement.
  • Provide a calculation of the annual rate of growth or critical yield required to match the value of the benefits that would have been available in the existing scheme.
  • Explore and explain the advantages and disadvantages of any potential transfer.
  • Assess your attitude to risk in conjunction with the suitability of the transfer.
  • Research all of the market, as we are an independent firm, to find the provider best suited to your needs if this is appropriate.

Defined Benefit Pension Transfer Advice

Following guidance from the FCA, we have, like all other advice firms, changed the way in which we charge for providing advice relating to the transfer of benefits from a Defined Benefit Pension Scheme.

From 1 October 2020, occupational pension transfers (Defined Benefit / final salary schemes) are subject to a new, three-step advice process.

Firstly, a free, non-advised Triage Service is available to all clients. It looks at existing safeguarded benefits and helps a client decide if Full Advice is required.

The next option is Abridged Advice, which looks at your personal circumstances, including health, financial objectives, your knowledge and experience of investments, your attitude to investment risk and transfers risk, your ability to withstand financial losses and others. At this point, the advice may be to either retain your DB scheme or the position may be unclear. If the latter is the case, you can choose to receive Full Advice.

Full Advice, in addition to points mentioned above, entails a comprehensive analysis of the benefits of your existing DB scheme and a new DC scheme that might be suitable for your needs.

The triage service is free, the other options are subject to fees. The fee for Abridged Advice costs £1,000. Of this, £500 can be covered by your existing DB scheme. The fee for Full Advice is £4,000. The fees and the risks of proceeding with the recommendation will be highlighted to you before any advice takes place.

This fee will be payable by invoice rather than paid from a pension fund. Our fee is set at an established level regardless of the size of the pension fund being considered to ensure you receive impartial advice and pay a fair price for the work that we do.

Our fee will be chargeable irrespective of whether our analysis shows that it is in your best interest to transfer your defined benefits or to remain within your existing defined benefit scheme. Our objective being to give you the most appropriate advice in your circumstances. The fee covers our costs for analysis, research and if appropriate subsequent implementation of our recommendation to transfer.

Fixed Fees are applicable to specialist areas of advice that may not result in a recommendation to purchase a product. For this reason, Value Added Tax (VAT) may be applicable but we will tell you if this is the case before, we proceed.

In order for our firm to provide DB transfer advice, a client must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK resident;
  • Aged 50 or older;
  • Have a pension plan valued at £200,000. (For existing clients of Estate Capital, we will consider lower plan values).
Client Story - Pension Transfer

Straightforward advice
Martin Rees

What really helped was having Phil explain things to me in great detail, without the jargon, which enabled me to make an informed decision. He made everything seem straightforward.
Client Story - Pension Advice

A feeling of control
James Thompson

Chris never pushes you in any particular direction. You end up making the decisions yourself, but doing it based on real numbers for each option.

Client Testimonials

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Download our free guide to retirement transfers

Estate Capital has been granted the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and Personal Finance Society (PFS) Pension Transfer Gold Status. This new status is based around nine principle designed to deliver advice in the area of pension transfers that adheres to high professional standards.

We adopt an initial triage process to assess initial viability for regulated advice. We ensure advice is only given that supports the overall well being of a client in the context of their stated aims and objectives. We are transparent over all costs and charges associated with each part of the advice process and if any conflicts of interest arise.

We ensure that clients have sufficient information to understand the disadvantages as well as advantages of any course of action so that a client is able to make a truly informed decision based upon their unique circumstances and objectives.

As part of securing the Pension Transfer Gold Status we keep up to date on current thinking and market trends.

Download our free guide to retirement transfers

A Guide to Pension Transfers

Co-ordinate your pensions, grow capital, increase your retirement income and have confidence in your pension and peace-of-mind to enjoy life now.

Guide to Pension Transfers

Financial Guides

Please read the many free financial guides we have provided on this website to help you make better-informed financial decisions that are right for you.

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Our initial client meetings are offered without cost or obligation. We will meet these costs as we are yet agree how best we can work together.

Yes, but it would still need to be in your financial interest to do this.

Legislation will allow this to be done from age 55 but there are likely to be penal tax consequences.

A Defined Benefit Scheme contains valuable guarantees and it may not be in your interest to transfer. It will be an individual decision based on your goals, objectives and individual circumstances. Thorough research and assessment of your situation can help make an informed assessment of the suitability of a potential transfer.

You can pass your pension fund to your children providing the pension scheme you are a member of has adopted the new rules post 5th April 2015. If you are a member of a defined benefit scheme you cannot pass any fund to your children. There may be short term payments to dependent children only.

You will be able to take benefits before the scheme normal retirement age providing the scheme rules permit this. However there may be an early retirement penalty reducing the income if you retire early. These penalties are commonly 4% per annum.

This can only be done if the value is below £30,000. Any pension scheme with a transfer value over £30,000 will require the transfer to be handled by a suitably qualified independent financial adviser.

You do not have to take your tax free cash all at once providing your pension fund is in a flexible draw-down scheme.

Ask us a question

Our financial advisers have a wealth of experience of helping clients properly plan for retirement and will be happy to guide you through the comparative value of pension benefits. We will take the time to understand your circumstances and help you choose or maintain arrangements that best suit your long term needs. We believe it’s important that you have confidence in your retirement income choices and the peace-of-mind to enjoy your whole life to the full.

Chris Davies

Chris Davies

Chartered Financial Adviser View Profile

Chris Davies

Chartered Financial Adviser
Phil Johnson

Phil Johnson

Independent Financial Adviser View Profile

Phil Johnson

Independent Financial Adviser
Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Independent Financial Adviser View Profile

Kevin Jones

Independent Financial Adviser
Kate White

Kate White

Paraplanner Manager View Profile

Kate White

Paraplanner Manager

Call 01792 477763 today or contact us and we'll arrange an initial meeting at no cost, to discuss your circumstances and explain how we can help you.

Please read the many testimonial endorsements our clients have provided on this website to see what they say about our advice and on-going service.

Financial News & Investment Views from our blog | Read More

The importance of pension transfer advice
06 October 2020

The importance of pension transfer advice

Average life expectancy in the UK is now around 78 years for a man and 82 years for a woman. As we live longer, the need to provide choice and security at every stage in life has never been greater.