Defined Benefit Pension Transfers or Consolidation
Our Pension Transfer Specialist, (Claire Novakovic) has the appropriate pension transfer permission with the FCA in order to be able to conduct pension transfers including Defined Benefit Schemes (sometimes known as final salary schemes).
We have a breadth and depth of experience dealing with final salary/defined benefit schemes, including (but not limited to the following):
Civil Aviation Authority Pension Scheme
IBM C Plan
Tesco Defined Benefit Scheme
Barclays Defined Benefit Scheme
Kleinwort Benson Defined Benefit Scheme
Miracle Garden Care Defined Benefit Scheme
BAE Systems Defined Benefit Scheme
NHS Defined Benefit Scheme (Transfers out not permitted)
Local Government Pension Scheme
Whitbread Defined Benefit Scheme
United Biscuits Defined Benefit Scheme
TUI Defined Benefit Scheme
Thomas Cook Defined Benefit Scheme
Claire is our in-house Pension Transfer Specialist and also a qualified chartered financial planner as well as chartered accountant with ICAEW
As explained within the Defined Contribution page of our website, many clients have built up a diverse range of pension plans by the time they come to see us. It may be that your defined benefit (final salary) scheme is one of many pensions that you hold, or it may be that this is your one and only pension and indeed in some cases your largest asset.
We cannot stress enough the importance of taking seriously the decision regarding whether or not to transfer out of a defined benefit or final salary scheme.
We treat helping you in this area as one of the most complex areas of advice that we offer, both in terms of the analysis involved and the significance of outcomes to you as a client.
We seek to deal with this area in a thorough and analytical way whilst also taking the time and effort to present it to you in the best way possible so that you as an individual are able to understand the findings of our research and ultimately we aim to come up with a solution which is in your best interests. Sometimes this will be maintaining your scheme and perhaps maximising the way of taking tax free cash, sometimes it will be appropriate to transfer out (for instance if your income requirements do not place capital erosion pressure on the total funds and your need for superior death benefits are a primary objective) and sometimes a blended approach may be appropriate (i.e. blending guaranteed income streams with flexible investment linked income streams from the variety of pensions and/or assets that you hold ). What is right for you as the client will depend on both the specifics of your situation and the specifics of your scheme(s).
There has been much debate in the industry recently regarding whether contingent charging meets the needs of clients with the FCA considering an outright ban on contingent charging. Contingent charging is where advisers only get paid if a certain route is followed and in the case of defined benefit transfers, this has hit the regulator’s radar as many advisers charge, only if the client transfers out and not if the transfer does not proceed, which could be viewed as a clear incentive for some advisers to recommend a transfer out regardless of whether it is really in the client’s best interest.
We do not operate a contingent charging model, we charge £1,750 for our Pension Transfer Report, regardless of whether a pension transfer is recommended or not and we feel it is imperative to do so in order to look into this thoroughly and professionally on your behalf and offer you the best possible advice which in some cases will be to maintain your existing scheme. Sometimes clients may be put off by the thought of paying to maintain what is already held, however if after careful analysis this appears the right thing to do, you will have paid to make an informed decision and we believe this will be money well spent. We feel confident you will learn a lot from the report in terms of the retirement decisions you need to make with the existing scheme, for instance the effect of commutation factors on the level of tax free cash, in what manner your pension will increase in payment, the effect of early (or late) retirement discount (enhancement) factors if you are considering early or late retirement and also the possibilities of how to invest the tax free cash if it is not needed to pay off liabilities.
As already mentioned, sometimes, in the right circumstances, a transfer will be recommended and if this is the case there will be extra work involved in terms of constructing an appropriate portfolio and completing all of the appropriate forms and compliance requirements to facilitate the transfer. Extra initial advice fees will apply, namely 1%-2% of the amount transferred and extra annual costs, namely 0.5%-0.75% also dependent upon the value of the pension transferred, however the cost of the initial report, namely £1,750 will be offset against any extra fees (please see our services and costs disclosure for further information on our cost and service levels).
We have a clearly defined 4 stage process which we follow in putting together our report for you, but it is worth emphasising that the first appointment with Claire (our Pension Transfer Specialist), which can be either over the phone or face to face is free and therefore you can comfortably discuss anything at this stage with her before committing to this process.
Please bear in mind that Accudo Investments will only offer advice on a full holistic basis, which includes recommending the investments if a transfer is recommended and the intention to retain you as a client if you proceed with a transfer (although you are not tied to our service in anyway) associated advice being part of the ongoing relationship, including full annual or bi-annual reviews and associated ongoing fees.