All about pension transfers

What’s a pension transfer


A pension transfer is when you move your UK pension from your current UK scheme to either another UK pension scheme or a QROPS. The transfer process involves cashing up your UK scheme and moving that lump sum of cash to another scheme.

There are lots of parties involved in the process of transferring a pension.

Parties in a transfer

Transferrable pensions


Sometimes it’s easier to list those that cannot be transferred:

  • Unfunded UK pension schemes
  • UK state pensions
  • Any pension where an annuity has been purchased

The process for a successful pension transfer


There is a simple recipe for a successful pension transfer:

  • Collecting all the relevant information on the tansfer
  • Analysing that information
  • Reporting the analysis on tax, financials, and scheme options in a clear report
  • Making a decision on your transfer based on fact
  • Transferring to the right scheme
  • Constantly ensuring the scheme is still right for you
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Tax on a transfer


There are lots of potential taxes on a pension transfer and it’s important to understand how to mitigate them. These are taxes like:

  • The overseas transfer charge
  • Lifetime allowance taxes
  • Pension transfer taxes

Transfer risks and traps


  • The surprise tax bill
  • Hidden fees
  • Rule changes leaving you trapped
  • Locked in schemes
  • Inappropriate investment funds
  • Giving up guaranteed benefits

Final salary transfers


UK Defined Benefit Schemes or final salary schemes are the most common and largest type of pension United Kingdom. Transferring them is not a like for like swap and there are many facets that need to be understood.

You need UK FCA advice if you want to transfer a final salary pension scheme above £30,000.

Schemes we’ve transferred


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