Xafinity1 produce a monthly pension transfer value index, where it’s actuaries (read smart math’s people) calculate what the value of someone’s pension would be worth if they were to transfer it out.
The Xafinity Transfer Value Index tracks the transfer value for a final salary scheme to a 64 year-old member entitled to a pension of £10,000 each year from age 65. What they calculate that transfer value to be worth is shown in the graph below. What’s important is not the absolute transfer value that they calculate, as different schemes calculate transfer values in different ways, but the changes over time. Why? Because they are using a consistent calculation method with a consistent persona, so the only variables really changing the value are external ones, like bond rates and inflation. And if you want to get in control of your pension, you need to understand that small changes in these values can have big impacts on your pension value.
As Sankar Mahalingham, Head of DB Growth, Xafinity comments: “We have seen a steady fall in transfer values over January 2018. Increases in gilt yields have been the main driver, with inflation remaining relatively stable.”
The bumpy ride in transfer values since 2016, shows the volatility to GILT yields, while the recent down trend in transfer valuations show that GILT yields might now have bottomed out and are rising again.
Understand GILT yields to get more out of your pension
It is crucial that you understand GILT yields and their effect on your pension, and there are some basic actions that you should be taking to protect yourself.
You should regularly request a pension transfer valuation from your UK pension provider. The transfer values will tell you whether the scheme is fully funded, whether they will pay full value on the transfer, the current transfer value and the benefits that are on offer as well as a slew of really important information.
If you decide that you want to transfer, the transfer values are guaranteed for three months. So you should know when the transfer value was calculated and what the yields were on the date of calculation. If during the process you notice that yields have dropped significantly, if might be worth requesting another transfer value to take advantage of the situation. For many of our clients we have had situations where we have been able to get them a 5-7% increase in their transfer value simply by understanding their situation.
If you haven’t requested a pension transfer value from your UK scheme, get in touch and we can get one for you and then produce a UK pension report that will get you “up to speed” on your UK pension.
There are many myths associated with Defined Benefit and Final Salary pensions but facts speak for themselves, so get the facts, get informed and make the decision to leave it in the UK or bring it here.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. –Benjamin Franklin
1. Xafinity is one of the UK’s largest and oldest publicly traded pensions service providers with over 900 employees and providing services to over 1,200 companies and 585,000 members.