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People vote for control: The Great British pensions cash out

People of all ages are getting out of their final salary and defined benefit pensions in the UK, and the numbers are unprecedented. Spurred on by massive pension valuations, attractive incentives, failing companies and flexible access 80,000 people transferred last year, and 120,000 are estimated to follow this year.
The Pensions Regulator’s estimated 80,000 defined benefit transfers occured from April 2016 to March 2017 (see here). That number is forecast to increase 50% this year with one major UK pension provider estimating 120,000 transfers this year.

Failing schemes and dodgy deals are driving people out as they take control of their UK pensions

Barclays paying out £4.2bn in pension transfers from its own final salary pension scheme during 2017 as a result of this according to the bank’s annual report. That’s a staggering 10% of the total Barclay’s pension fund.
Some might argue the circumstances of Barclays are unique: the bank is separating into two parts the traditional banking operations and the higher risk investment bank. And they want to put the pension scheme into the riskier investment bank creating great risks for those still in the pension scheme.
But these restructures are driving people, in numbers never seen before, to review their pensions, like holders of Aviva and British Steel pensions. Why? Because if the company collapses then the pension holders are left with no option but to have their pension end up in the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). While the PPF is a great back stop, as it guarantees you get at least 90% of the pension, it removes any ability for pension holders to control their own pensions. Once you are in the PPF you are there for life…no flexible access, no control
People are now paying more attention to their current and former employers financial status and governance and whether their pensions are and will continue to be safe.
Over 10% of the companies on the FTSE 100 have a pension deficit of greater than GBP1billion. These household names include:

  • Astra Zeneca
  • BAE Systems
  • BP
  • BT
  • Centrica
  • GKN
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Imperial Brands
  • Rio Tinto
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Tesco
  • TuiAG
  • Unilever

And while these companies have large absolute deficits, over 20% of the FTSE 100 companies have less than 80% of the assets in their pension schemes needed to fund the payments they have promised to members (for more details on the companies see here).
The previous trust that people had that companies would provide a retirement and look out for their staff has been shattered. Large corporate collapses, like Carrillion and BhS have shown that shareholders interests have been put ahead of pension holders. This wake up call is driving people to take control of their own destiny, and not leaving it to corporate UK.
The first step in getting control over your pension is understanding the status and value of the pension and the company providing it. Take action now and contact us so we can help you understand your options and ensure you do the right thing with your UK pension.

NZ free phone:0800 102 599 / OZ Free Phone:1800 857 410 /

very stress free

Thank you Cambel for your help and guidance throughout this process in getting my pension transferred (very stress free for me). It is greatly appreciated and I would certainly recommend you and Charter Square to others who are interested in transferring their pension.

David R, New Zealand

You guys rock!

I just wanted to say a great big thank you to you and your team. You are all totally awesome. I received a cheque yesterday from the Prudential to apologise for the ‘recent inconvenience’ that I had experienced. Thank you for doing this for me. You guys rock!

Noelle B, New Zealand

professional, insightful

Charter Square were professional, insightful and a pleasure to work with. They rose to the challenge of consolidating my overseas pensions and bringing them home with minimum fuss for me and maximum effort on their part.

Jens H, New Zealand

thorough, professional and prompt

Very thorough, professional and prompt service from the team at Charter Square. Thanks for making the bewildering world of pension transfers super simple.

Jules T, New Zealand

Best party to deal with

Thank you kindly for keeping in touch with me. For now, I will not be moving my pension. I will however be keeping your details and referring back to you when I wish to pursue. You by far are the best party to deal with, no nonsense, professional and in my opinion genuine. I do sincerely thank you for your advice to date.

GE, New Zealand


Securing the freedom to use savings that are actually ours to work with has been stressful in the extreme. While I never planned on giving up there were many times when the current (UK) holder made the whole process seem well beyond my determination and ability. It’s easy to look at the 36 month history of this claim with the benefit of hindsight, but the conclusion is that employing Charter Square in the first instance would have been wise had I been able to anticipate the red-tape that appears to have been deliberately created to stall access.

CP, Auckland
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