Pension Transfer FAQs

Pension Transfer FAQs

What Is Pension Transfer?

You may transfer the value of your pension – the so-called “pension pot” – from your present scheme into another.

Why Might I Want a Pension Transfer?

There are a number of reasons why you may want to move all or some of your accrued pension benefits to a new scheme:

  • You may be changing jobs – and, therefore, no longer contributing to your former employer’s occupational pension scheme.
  • You may want to transfer to an alternative pension scheme that offers better benefits.
  • You may want to bring together, under a single umbrella, pensions from more than one personal pension or old employer’s pension.

Why Is It Important to Review My Pension and to Consider a Pension Transfer?

Having the appropriate pension scheme in place may make a very significant difference to your overall financial wellbeing in retirement – but it also depends on your taking the necessary action to make the most of your pension rights, including the right to transfer to an alternative scheme.

Broadly, there are five ways, including Pension Transfer, to increase your pension pot and therefore your income in retirement:

  • Reduce the charges on your existing pension arrangements.
  • Improve the returns on the underlying investments.
  • Regularly Review your Plan.
  • Make additional contributions to your pensions.
  • Defer the date of retirement.

What Are My Options for Pension Transfer?

Most pension schemes allow you to transfer the benefits to a new scheme, at any time up to one year before the pension becomes payable – if yours does not, the funds need to stay where they are until your pension becomes payable.

If you want to go ahead and transfer, it is important to remember that some benefits provided by your current scheme – such as life or guaranteed income may be lost.

If you are able to transfer, your pension pot may be moved to:

  • Your new employer’s workplace pension scheme.
  • A personal pension scheme.
  • A self-invested personal pension (SIPP).
  • A stakeholder pension (SHP) scheme.

What Are the Benefits of Professional Advice About My Pension?

Your pension is designed to take care of your financial needs throughout your retirement – so it is essential that you take sound professional advice.

Here at Independent Pension Specialists Ltd (IPSL), we make it our mission to provide the best possible independent advice, informed by our meticulous research and taking into full account current pension legislation and the range of pension contracts and retirement planning solutions available.

When considering a Pension Transfer, however, the decision is complicated by the sheer number of choices you may need to make about your existing and any new scheme:

  • 20 mainstream pension providers in the UK offer 70 different pension contracts.
  • These include schemes such as Guaranteed Income (Annuity), Flexible Income (Flexi-Access) Drawdown, Flexible Lump Sums (uncrystallised fund pension lump sum), unlocking the whole of your pension pot in one go, as well as other Third Way products.
  • Any one of these schemes may change its current terms and conditions.
  • Each scheme typically carries a number of options from which to select.
  • If you are considering investment-backed options, there are literally thousands of underlining investment funds from which to choose.
  • There are over 14,000 pension funds to choose from, plus the option to invest in other funds taking the total investment choice to beyond 40,000.
  • Whatever your decision, it is likely to have a major impact on the future level of income you receive from your pension and may also carry significant tax implications.

What Services Do You Provide?

We are Independent Financial Advisers and not an insurance company or an annuity provider – our specialist advice is on pensions and retirement planning-related matters.

Our wide range of services includes:

  • Independent Financial Advice.
  • Pension Specialists.
  • Research of the whole market.
  • Finding the appropriate product for you.
  • Investigating all Pension Transfer options.
  • Liaising with legal advisers and scheme administrators.
  • Dealing with all the paperwork requirements.
  • Arranging the set-up of a new policy.
  • Arranging the transfer of funds.
  • Providing ongoing monitoring and review of your pension arrangements

What Services Don’t You Provide?

At Independent Pensions Specialists Ltd, we do not:

  • Provide legal advice.
  • Receive your money into our bank account.
  • Arrange transfers into occupational schemes.
  • Deal with total pension values below £100k.
  • Arrange transfers out of Defined Benefit occupational pension schemes
  • Arrange transfers out of pension policies with Guaranteed Annuity Rates

What Are Your Fees?

We do not make any charge for the initial assessment and/or face to face meeting/telephone discussion, to determine your objectives and establish whether our services are appropriate for you.

We help you decide which service may be right for you and will agree the fee before commencing any chargeable work on your behalf

Our fees reflect the nature of whatever services you ask us to perform – the fee structure and methods of payment is fully documented in our Key Facts “about our services and costs” document. This, along with our Terms of Business document will be issued to you automatically upon receipt of your initial Enquiry Form and Letter of Authorisation. You may request a copy in advance, or you may download a copy from our website.

In addition, there may be charges made by your existing pension provider for releasing funds before or after your policy retirement date. Remember that you might be giving up guarantees in any Pension Transfer and that these are, in a way, also a cost to you if you lose them.

If a Pension Transfer to a new company is recommended, there are likely to be set up charges.

What Does Your Initial Assessment Cover?

We do not make any charge for the initial assessment and/or face to face meeting/telephone discussion, to determine your objectives and establish whether our services are appropriate for you.

If Your Service Is Appropriate for Me, What Is the Next Stage?

We will agree the fee before commencing any chargeable work on your behalf. Please see Key Facts about our services and costs for more information, including the methods available to pay our fee.

When we have received your fee and instruction we:

  • Write to your existing scheme providers to obtain up to date information on your existing arrangement and the options open to you.
  • This includes a check on the policy conditions, up to date fund values, details of the underlying funds you hold, a check on any applicable guaranteed annuity rates, life cover or waiver of premium that may apply, a breakdown and projection of your benefits and details of any applicable penalties or charges that may apply on transfer.
  • Using sophisticated computer software, we make a direct comparison of your existing arrangement(s) with a brand new-low cost pension product to see if it is worthwhile transferring and if so how much better off you may be.
  • We then look at your underlying investment options and how these may also be improved in a new arrangement.
  • Only then are we in a position to confirm whether or not it may be in your interests to transfer your existing policy.

This process can often take several weeks but is vital in ensuring that the advice we give is both accurate and appropriate for your circumstances and the pension schemes in question.

You can help in this process by sending us copies of any information you may already hold such as a recent valuation or retirement illustration.

What Is a Letter of Authorisation and Why Do You Need One?

This is an industry-standard letter of authority in which you confirm to your pension company that we are acting on your behalf as your agent and that information may be released to us. We will use this letter to obtain detailed information about your existing pension contract terms and conditions.

Importantly, this letter does not enable us to make any amendments or adjustments to any of your existing contracts and neither can we transfer your arrangements or change any of the underlying investments in any way. Your policies remain exactly as they are.

How Long Does the Process Take?

It varies and is likely to depend on a number of factors including:

  • The amount of data you have to hand at outset.
  • The complexity of your pension arrangements.
  • Any applicable fixed deadlines.
  • Your specific requirements.

As a rule of thumb, but depending on all these variables and the company presently providing your pension, the process may take six to eight weeks to complete – and, of course we advise you when that is the case.

Can I Have a Face to Face Meeting With You?

Yes, you can. We would arrange a convenient appointment for you to visit our offices in Maidstone, Kent – they are just 3 minutes’ walk away from Maidstone West railway station, or if you are driving, we have a car park at the rear of the building.

Otherwise, all our business is conducted by post, email or telephone and draws on the latest technology where necessary.

If you have a question that is not covered in these FAQs, please call 01622 238000 for assistance.

What we do

Getting the right financial advice at the right time can literally change people’s lives. This is what our business is about.

Who we work with

We specialise in working with people who are saving towards their retirement, are approaching retirement, or have recently retired.

IPSL Services

In some circumstances, more than one service or a combination of services may be appropriate.


We are constantly monitoring the market to ensure we are up to date with all relevant trends. See what's new here.

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You are at the centre of our process. We provide a face to face or remote service, depending on your needs and location. As independent financial advisers authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, we provide specialist advice that will always have your best interests at heart. We only use UK based solutions.

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