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Taking Control Part 1: A few numbers rule your retirement

We are writing about control, because we spend much of our lives faced with things that are out of our control. Governments make decisions we have no say in, traffic congestion, the cost of fuel, the weather…the list goes on and on.
Recently we’ve talked of the perilous state of the UK pensions industry and the huge deficits that exist within in many large company pension schemes. Some would say a situation out of control. While some of these schemes may top up their deficits and potentially ride out the underfunding storm that currently exists, others won’t and then the members of that scheme will be faced with events out of their control.
But the thing that scares us the most is that a lot of peoples UK pensions (and therefore their retirements) are completely at the whims of a few numbers.


The one number that rules them all… bond yields

If you have a UK final salary pension and you don’t know about Bond (GILT) yields you really should. Because they are nearly everything, a small movement in these numbers can cause mayhem for your pension.
If the yields go up your transfer values and scheme deficit could reduce massively. On the other hand if they go down your pension transfer values go up and so therefore so do your schemes deficit. And the movements are big (we could be talking 50% movements or more in your pension transfer value).
But you have no control over yields or how they affect your pension value. Now bond yields have been at historic lows for a while and this is keeping pension transfer values really high. The values are so high that most schemes can’t actually afford to pay what they have promised. But that hasn’t stopped these schemes paying out full value to people leaving the scheme.
In real life this can have very devastating consequences, imagine a UK pension scheme that can only afford to pay 60% of the pensions that it has promised to members. Now what happens if 20% of the members leave the scheme being paid out in full? That means that the remaining 80% of the members only have their pensions 50% funded. Great for those who get out, not so great for those still in the scheme. The total deficits in the UK on final salary schemes are now 20% of the value of the schemes, that’s a whooping £450 billion. You want to know how sensitive your pension values are to the bond yields look at the fact that this deficit can move by £40 billion or more a month.

The million dollar question – how long will you live

As average life expectancies have crept up so to have the values of final salary pension schemes. Why? because the UK pension companies know that they will have to pay more under the contract to provide an income for life. This has been another problem that has caused the funding deficit described above.
All these factors putting pressure on UK final salary schemes has seen a number of companies intentionally winding the company up and throwing their pension scheme into a UK government bailout called the Pension Protect Fund (PPF). Then they resurrect their company the next day and don’t have to worry about funding their pension deficit anymore. The PPF will pay you 90% of your promised pension (at the moment), but you lose complete control and your pension will be stuck in the PPF forever. If you want to know about it ask the workers at Carillion or BHS.
We advocate for taking control of your UK pension and the first step to taking control is understanding it.
What’s it’s true value, what’s the tax I have to pay if I transfer, how will I be better off if I transfer, what can I do with the money when I transfer, how much earlier can I start taking a pension, where will I invest the transferred funds, all these questions once answered put you in control of your UK pension rather than some faceless bureaucrat that’s changing rules, moving funds and treating your UK pension like they’re the ones in control.
Take control today and get our FREE UK pension report, we’ll give you the answers and help put you in control so you can decide what’s right for you
Talk to an expert today to help you.

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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