Defined Benefit Pension Transfer Guide

Is a transfer right for you?

In this guide:

  • What is a Defined Benefit Pension Scheme? - Understanding your current situation will help with the decision making process.
  • What are the differences between a Defined Benefit Pension Scheme and a Defined Contribution Pension Plan? - Comparing the benefits provided by a Defined Benefit Pension with the benefits of a Defined Contribution Pension plan is not straightforward.
  • Our approach to this service -  How our pension transfer specialists could help.

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We have a dedicated team of pension transfer specialists working in partnership with all of our advisers to ensure that a detailed assessment of your objectives and needs takes place before we engage to provide a transfer service. We also employ a dedicated technical expert who is qualified to Fellowship level of CII and undertakes an independent assessment of all advice before it is issued.

Please note that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not regulate cash flow planning, estate planning, tax or trust advice.

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From this guide:

Since the introduction of pension freedoms in 2015 there has been unprecedented levels of interest from individuals wanting to transfer out of their Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes and exchange the promise of a guaranteed pension for life for the flexibility:

  • To access their pension when they choose and not at a pre-defined date
  • To vary the amount of income they receive to reflect changes in personal circumstances during retirement
  • To have the ability to pass their pension fund to future generations in a tax efficient manner

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) believe that it will be in most people’s best interests to keep their DB pension. 

In June 2020, the FCA published new rules and guidance on pension transfer advice, particularly Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution (DC) transfers. The FCA have been concerned that too many people are transferring out of their DB pension. 

The new guidelines, which started on 1st October 2020, include a package of measures to:

  • Ensure firms consider an available workplace pension scheme as a receiving scheme for a transfer
  • Enable firms to give a short form of advice called Abridged Advice
  • Help consumers to make better decisions by improving how advisers disclose charges
  • Ensure that all consumers pay for advice, regardless of whether or not a transfer is recommended. This is explained more fully on page 7.
  • Plus some specific technical measures about professional qualifications of advisers and reporting of information to the FCA

Download the full guide to read more.

Questions about Defined Benefit Pensions?

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Meet our expert team

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Kirsty Stone

Senior Financial Adviser - Chartered Financial Planner, APFS

Rated 4.5 out of 5

Top Rated Adviser 2022

Kirsty is a Chartered Financial Planner and expert in cash flow forecasting and advises in all aspects of financial and strategic planning

Susan Tait

Partner - Chartered Financial Planner, APFS

4.8 out of 5

Top Rated Adviser 2022

Susan has a broad range of experiences dealing with high net worth clients who pose complex financial circumstances.

Julian Frere

Partner - Chartered Financial Planner, APFS

4.8 out of 5

Top Rated Adviser 2022

Julian advises on pension reviews, retirement planning, investment management, tax efficient structuring, life insurance and succession planning.