Transferring Defined Benefit Pension Schemes

In 2015, the Government introduced legislation which changed how those saving for retirement could take their pension benefits.

This is now commonly referred to as Pension Freedom. The changes were targeted at Defined Contribution (DC) schemes, such as personal pensions and stakeholder pensions.

The changes did not apply to Defined Benefit (DB) schemes, such as final salary pension schemes.

This has led to many people who have DB schemes considering whether they should transfer their benefits to a DC scheme to access Pension Freedoms.

This guide explains more about the option to transfer and considers the key factors.

Transferring away from a DB scheme is a complex, irreversible decision that requires specialist qualified financial advice.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority, the starting point for such a decision is to remain within the scheme and retain the guarantees it provides. This is on the basis that the pension has been built up specifically to provide an income to you for life and possibly your partner if they survive you. Therefore, a final decision to transfer should only ever be made once all factors, the advantages and disadvantages, plus the risks involved have been properly explored and understood.

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