It was once possible to opt-out of a SERPs pension scheme, however the scheme ended in 2002. If you have reached the State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, you’ll get the new State Pension.
Previously, if your employer had a workplace pension scheme, you could have contracted out of your state pension and transferred your funds over.
Unfortunately, since 2016, this type of pension cannot be transferred.
What is a SERPs pension?
A SERPS pension is an additional pension, paid in as a top-up to the basic state pension.
* You would only be eligible for SERPs if you were an employee who made Class 1 National Insurance Contributions between 1978 and 2002
* In April 2002, SERPS was replaced by the State Second Pension
* If you paid into the SERPs scheme, you will receive your payments when you reach retirement age
* If you are entitled to SERPs and retired before April 2016, you should have received both the basic and the additional state pension.
Where could a SERPS pension be transferred?
Since 1988, many people have opted out their SERPs pension, often in a bid to raise more money for their retirement.
Any money that they had accumulated in their SERPs fund could be transferred to a:
* Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)
* Company final salary scheme, also known as a defined benefit scheme
If you decided to opt-out of your SERPs pension and begin saving for your retirement with another scheme, any money you initially saved in SERPs would have been transferred to your new pot.
Can I transfer my SERPs pensions to my spouse if I die?
If you have paid into the SERPs scheme and pass away, your surviving spouse or civil partner will be entitled to claim.
The amount of money that your partner will receive will depend on which year you reached the state pension age, as well as the year you died.
For example, a widower would be entitled to up to 100% of their partner’s SERPs if they had passed away before 6th October 2002.
However, if their partner had died after this date, the maximum amount they could inherit would be based on the partner’s date of birth.
The rules regarding how much a spouse is entitled to claim can be confusing. If you would like to calculate how much SERPs your spouse could be entitled to in the event of your death, you can arrange a chat with one of the expert advisors we work with.
Should I transfer my SERPs pension?
Unfortunately, transferring a SERPs pension is no longer possible. If you never opted out of the scheme, it will now be paid to you once you reach retirement age as part of your state pension.
If you have previously opted out of the scheme, you may have accumulated more interest or benefits through your current pension provider.
However, this is not always the case and unfortunately, some people who transferred their SERPs pension in the past, may have made a larger financial gain if they had stayed.
This is because if you transfer your pension to a private scheme, the value of your investment can go down as well as up, meaning that there is a chance that you may lose money.
This is why some pension members decide that this risk is too high, especially if they are near retirement age.
Can I transfer my pension back into SERPs?
No, this isn’t possible. You cannot transfer a personal pension fund back into SERPS because the scheme ended in April 2002. It was replaced by the Second State Pension.
How can I check if I was contracted out of my SERPS pension?
You can find out if you were contracted out by:
* Checking an old payslip
* Calling your pension provider
* Seeking advice from a pensions expert
* If you know longer have your pension provider’s contact details, the Pension Tracing Service might be able to find them for you.