Dont do it, the FCA say dont do it, its a gold plated scheme, why would you transfer? The regulators stance is that it is in the members best interest to stay in their final salary scheme.
9 out of 10 people should not be transferring from their gold plated Final salary scheme, what makes you the 1 in 10 member that should be transferring?
As a defined benefit Pension Transfer specialist I agree with the FCA in that transferring is not something that should be done unless all reasons point to a transfer.
Why would you give up a guaranteed and often very healthy increased income for life in replace for a flexible scheme that puts you at risk in the stock market?
There is a reason there are only a handful of these schemes actually still in existence and most are shut completely. The reason is they are too expensive for scheme trustees to run, they are too good and offer benefits that are almost impossible to replicate. So why would you want to give up these benefits?
Do your reasons to transfer outweigh the benefits? If you are looking to transfer for some of the following reasons then please look consider the alternatives before we speak.
Pay off a mortgage
Other Options – Use alternative funding, other pensions, partners pension, savings. Think about the rate you are paying on your mortgage, a low interest rate of 1 or 2% is likely to be a fair bit less than the return on your pension so is it really wise to take a lump sum from a pension to pay off this, considerably cheap loan? Paying off a mortgage is often a psychological milestone, take that out of the equation and do the numbers, does it really make sense?
Other Options – Life insurance, don’t dismiss life insurance as yes its a cost but it often pays for that ‘no brainer’ option of transferring and not having any money left for the kids or the estate. Paying for life insurance to pay out until age 85 could actually offer you a safety net of money going to your estate and you also having the benefit of 20 or 25 yrs worth of payments from the pension. The numbers should be always explored.
I get many members who will tell me how great they have done in the markets recently and how they want to transfer the pension into their own pot and manage it themselves so they can keep on achieving these high returns, with all due respect these are not clients that we take on. Yes I suspect you have experienced good returns in the markets but if you are returning 16% returns plus then you are clearly taking risks. Its simply not possible to get such returns with cautious low risk funds and if there were to be a market correction or fall then I do not want to be picking up the pieces of a 10% drop in your portfolio. Be realistic, we do aim to achieve above average returns but we also aim to minimise substantial losses and unfortunately if we cannot help manage funds on an ongoing basis then we don’t feel comfortable advising on transfers as we are not party to investment decisions in the future. We offer many good investment solutions, which we can talk about.
Are you psychologically in the right mindset at this current time? Are you at a low point? Have you lost a job, looking to get back on your feet, looking to pay off a debt? If you looked forward 5 yrs and looked back on yourself now would you feel this time in your life right now is the best time to make a huge financial decision that could affect the rest of your life?