Final Salary Pension Transfer

Specialist FCA Regulated Advice

What are the benefits of transferring or cashing in a final salary pension early?

If you are 55+ and have a final salary pension you are not currently paying into or receiving, you can probably transfer it into a new flexible arrangement; and if you need to, release up to 100% as a cash lump sum, the first 25% is usually tax free.

The question is, should you? The starting point, is that transferring a final salary pension is not a good idea so read on to find out more.

Release cash now

Release 100% as cash a lump sum. The first 25% can be released tax free, the rest is taxed at your marginal tax rate at the time you take it, which could change in the future.

Investment Freedom

You take control of your money and invest it how you want, including how much risk you want to take and whether the option of ethical/green investments interest you.

Flexible Retirement Options

You can take money out of your pension from age 55. You don’t have to access it all in one go, you now have more choice and flexibility in how you take it and when.

Improved Death Benefits

You can ensure that any money invested in your pension will pass onto whomever you like, whether that is your spouse, partner, children or grandchildren or even a friend or charity.

Release cash now

Release 100% as cash a lump sum. The first 25% can be released tax free, the rest is taxed at your marginal tax rate at the time you take it, which could change in the future.

Investment Freedom

You take control of your money and invest it how you want, including how much risk you want to take and whether the option of ethical/green investments interest you.

Flexible Retirement Options

You can take money out of your pension from age 55. You don’t have to access it all in one go, you now have more choice and flexibility in how you take it and when.

Improved Death Benefits

You can ensure that any money invested in your pension will pass onto whomever you like, whether that is your spouse, partner, children or grandchildren or even a friend or charity.

Final Salary Pension Transfers Advice

There has been lots of bad press about people falling victims to pension transfer scams and receiving bad advice. It is vitally important you take advice from a FCA regulated pension transfer specialists such as ourselves so you understand the risks involved when transferring your pension.

There are strict FCA regulations we, as your adviser, need to adhere to before we advice you to transfer out of a final salary pension scheme. This is because, in the most cases you will be better off stay in the scheme.

Our service allows you to evaluate your pension transfer options without paying a penny. It’s only if you decide to go ahead with transferring your final salary pension that you pay a fee. You are under no obligation to go ahead if you don’t want to.

Get Started Today and receive our free Information Pack.

NO OBLIGATION

FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION

Get your free pension review and receive specialist FCA regulated advice for transferring your pension.

Receive expert advice from Grove Pension Solution for free. It’s only if you decide to proceed to full advice that a fee will be charged.

FINAL SALARY PENSION TRANSFER

Know your options

FINAL SALARY PENSION TRANSFER

Know your options

If you would like to know your options we can provide a free no obligation consultation. As part of this we will look at:

  • What existing pension plans you have in place.
  • Whether you have the right type of pension to transfer.
  • What your plans are for retirement.
  • How much cash you can release.
  • Your taxation position.

Our initial free consultation will tell you if transferring your pension is not suitable.

In order to establish if transferring your pension is fully suitable for you, we will need to carry out further analysis, which means you agreeing to progress to full advice, for which there is a charge.

Which option is best for you depends on your circumstances, and what’s important to you. Everyone’s circumstances are different.

We guarantee that we will present you with a clear set of recommendations in plain English, only advising you to transfer your pension if we believe it’s in your best interest.

Furthermore, we will not hassle you with lots of calls and will only act on your behalf when you provide us with signed written confirmation.

Warning

This service only applies to pensions in the UK. Transferring away from a  final salary pension scheme means you will lose valuable guarantees.

Taking benefits early will almost certainly reduce your pension income in retirement and is only suitable for a limited number of people and circumstances. This should not be seen as an easy option for raising cash.

If you release all your money from your pension early you will not have anything left to provide you with income in retirement.

Final Salary Pension Transfer FAQ's

Many people in final salary pension schemes  are being offered enhanced pension transfer values by their pension schemes.

Final salary pension schemes are known as the gold standard of pensions and offer lots of benefits to their members, which should not be given up lightly.

Transferring or cashing in your final salary pension is only advisable for a few people. Most people would be better off staying in the pension scheme.

This guide has been produced to help you understand your options.

Can I cash in my final salary pension early?

If you are aged 55 or older and not currently paying into or receiving your final salary pension, you can transfer most arrangements into a new plan that will give you immediate access.

You can release up to 100% of your fund, 25% is tax-free and the balance is taxed at your marginal rate at the time and could change in the future.

You can transfer out of your final salary pension scheme if:

  • You are aged 55 or over.
  • You are seriously ill you can access your pension earlier than 55.
  • You are not currently paying into or receiving your final salary pension.
  • Your pension is with your current or ex employer.

Please note you can continue to work after transferring your pension.

What is a final salary pension?

A final salary pension is also known as a defined benefit pension. A final salary pension offers a guaranteed prearranged pension income based on your final salary. Unlike a defined contribution pension where your pension income can go up and down depending how well the pension scheme investments perform.

Final Salary Pension funds are invested just like any other pension fund. However the company providing the pension will take all the investment risk. If the funds go down in value, you will still be guaranteed your prearranged pension income. If the value of the pension fund goes down there will be a “pension shortfall” or “pension deficit” where there is not enough money to cover the pension schemes obligations. Any deficit will have to be made up by the company. This is why final salary pensions are often known to be the best type of pension you can have.

Many companies no longer offer final salary pensions due to all the risk being borne on them. People are also living a lot longer which puts increased pressure on the amount of money needed in pension funds.

Public Sector Final Salary Pension schemes

Public sector final salary pensions schemes are offered by the government for public sector workers. These pension schemes come in two forms:

  • Unfunded Pensions: These pensions do not have a pension fund. The pensions are paid out of taxes raised by the government. Teachers, NHS staff, armed forces, civil servants, police and the fire service are all unfunded pensions and cannot be transferred.
  • Funded Pensions: These pensions do have a pension fund such as the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and can be transferred.

Private Sector Final Salary Pension Schemes

Private sector final salary pension schemes are operated by companies in the private sector and differ in size and the amount of members. They can be run by larger PLC’s or small Ltd companies. These schemes will often be run by their own trustees and administrators.

Many of the older and larger private sector final salary pension schemes are running with a pension deficit. In some cases, the pension scheme members are being offered enhanced transfer values so the company can close down the loss making scheme.

There is also a risk if a company goes into bankruptcy leaving a huge deficit in the pension fund. The government set up the Pension Protection Fund in 2005 to protect members of final salary pension schemes when companies go bust.

The Pension Protection Fund will take over the pension fund guaranteeing 100% of your pension if you are already retired or 90% if you haven’t retired. The scheme now has over 249,000 members and manages over £32bn of pension fund assets.

How are Final Salary Pensions Calculated?

There are two ways that final salary pensions are calculated:

  • Final salary schemes; calculated on your salary when you finally retire.
  • Career average schemes; calculated on your average salary across your career.

A final salary pension is calculated on your salary (either your final salary or your average career salary), the number of years you have been paying into the scheme and the schemes “accrual rate”.  The “accrual rate” is a fraction of your salary, usually 1/60 or 1/80.

Final salary pension calculation formula = Years paid into scheme x 1/60 x Final Salary.

What are the risk and benefits of Transferring Final Salary Pensions?

If you are considering transferring your final salary pension to a private pension, known as a defined contribution scheme, you need to consider the pro’s and con’s carefully before you make your decision. Here we take a look at the pro’s and con’s.

Risks of transferring a final salary pension:

  • A guaranteed pension income for life is the gold standard for pensions and should not be given up lightly.
  • You will be giving up a pension that is guaranteed to increase each year.
  • You will be giving up a pension where you have no investment risk, it is all borne by the scheme.
  • Taking out a cash lump sum early will mean you will have less money in your pension for the future.
  • Transferring your pension will require advice, which you will have to pay for.
  • You must have a clear understanding of the risks of swapping safeguarded benefits for flexible ones.
  • The value of your pension pot may go down due to poor performing investments.

Benefits of transferring a final salary pension:

  • You can access your pension fund from the age of 55.
  • You can take 100% as a cash lump sum – the first 25% tax free.
  • Improved death benefits. You can leave your entire pension pot to your loved one, free of inheritance tax.
  • You can draw down on your pension pot as and when you like, similar to a bank account.
  • Freedom to invest your pension fund where you want.
  • If your pension fund investments perform well you will end up with more money.
  • Your pension is not at risk if your employer goes into bankruptcy.

What is a Final Salary Pension Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV)?

When you transfer out of a final salary pension, the scheme’s trustee will give you a “cash equivalent transfer value’ also known as a CETV. The cash equivalent transfer value is the amount of cash your pension would need today to cover the benefits and pension payments you have been guaranteed to receive in the future.

Normally a cash equivalent transfer value is calculated at 20 times the annual pension income you have been guaranteed at retirement.  For example if you have been guaranteed a pension income of £15,000 per year, your CETV will be 20 x £15,000 = £300,000 CETV.

Some final salary pension schemes are offering their members enhanced CETV’s, which can be up to 40/60 times your annual pension income.  This is due to final salary pension schemes trying to reduce the pension schemes liabilities, with many wanting to close the scheme completely.

It is normal that final salary pension schemes are invested into low risk government gilts (loans to the government), which are repaid by the government with interest. Gilts are deemed as extremely good low risk investments. However the interest rate are currently extremely low, so the pension funds growth are much lower than expected. This has left many pension schemes needing more cash in their pension fund to cover their members pensions, which mean you will receive a larger CETV

What types of Final Salary Pensions you can access early?

Final Salary Pensions

Also known as defined benefit pensions, local government pension schemes (LGPS) and employer funded schemes; these are usually only provided by larger employers such as PLC companies or the government. You receive a percentage of your salary for each year you work for that employer.

They are considered the gold standard of pension schemes, and for most people they are best suited to leaving these alone and taking them at their selected retirement age. However, for some transferring to a flexible pension arrangement is more suitable.

Here are just a few examples of schemes we have dealt with:

National Grid UK Scheme

Sainsbury’s Pension Scheme

Railways Pension Scheme

Lloyds TSB Staff Pension Scheme

Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS)

Allied Domecq Pension Fund

If your pension fund value is over £30,000, government regulations require you to get regulated advice from a pension transfer specialist such as ourselves.

What types of Pension you can not access early?

Un-funded Statutory Pension Schemes

These are pensions that don’t have any funds, they are paid for by the taxpayer as you take your pension. They include Teachers, Firefighters, NHS workers, Police and Armed Force.

State Old Age Pension

What are the stages of final salary pension transfer advice?

There are three stages to the advice we’ll give you; the first two are completely free, the final Full Advice stage is subject to a fee.

1. Triage – Free

As soon as we receive your completed enquiry form, we’ll send you some generic information about the risks of transferring a defined benefit pension scheme. This service is free and will provide you with some basic information about your pension.

There is a short video you can watch and details that are written in plain, easy to understand English.

This is the first stage of helping you to understand what you’ve got. We have FCA regulated advisers you can speak with if you need to before deciding to proceed to the next stage.

2. Abridged Advice – Free

This stage of our service is also completely free, where we provide more detailed advice specific to you and your pension. We analyse your personal circumstances along with the details of your pension and what you have told us you want to achieve. We’ll send you a detailed report, again written in plain, easy to understand English. Once you’ve received it we will arrange for you to discuss its contents with one of our specialist advisers.

The report will conclude that either transferring your pension is not advisable or, we are unable to ascertain suitability and can only do so by proceeding to Full Advice. You can decide whether you proceed to the next stage or not, if you don’t go any further, then it hasn’t cost you anything for the details you have so far.

3. Full Advice – Paid

For this stage of our advice service there is a charge, whether you decide to go ahead and transfer your pension or not. All the details of our fee will be included in our report, which you will have already had and discussed with the adviser at the previous abridged stage.

Full advice will provide you with a definitive answer as to whether a transfer is suitable for you, and will include, where applicable, detailed additional information and analysis about investment risk and scheme charges.

Testimonials

Grove made all aspects of the pension release process very clear and precise, and kept me up to date on what stage my pension unlocking was at. Very professional at all times.

Mrs MR, Glasgow

from the point of initial contact right the way through to what was an extremely painless and satisfactory final outcome I was treated with courtesy, politeness and kept informed of every stage. My requests for any further clarification are treated with great patience and understanding.

Mrs HB, Newcastle Upon Tyne

I would recommend your services to anyone. A good job well done. Thanks.

Mr SM, Nottingham

You were the only company to explain it (advice) to me in a way I could understand … I contacted several IFA’s and they were all very unhelpful. … I am delighted I chose Grove, very professional, polite company. Thanks so much!

Mr RM, Swindon

I have already recommended your services to some of my colleagues. I was highly delighted with all aspects of the services I received. Thank you for a painless, understandable transaction.

Mr GWB, Driffield

I thought the process of pension release would be difficult but was made easy to understand by the very helpful staff at Grove.

Mrs KS, Runcorn

Very helpful & informative staff who understood my situation & why I had to release funds. I was informed that it could be a bad decision to proceed & was put under pressure not to, which doesn’t make sense as Grove wouldn’t make any money.

Mr PB, Chelmsford

I wanted to release some of my pension money ( tax free ). Grove Financial were extremely helpful in every way from start to finish. No problems were encountered throughout. I Would strongly recommend them, many thanks.

Mr DS, Swindon

Your staff were very helpful from the start and very professional in their approach to what is a complex field. I would recommend your services to anybody.

Mr AS, Oxford