Thinking of transferring your UK pension? Here are some frequently asked questions.
I have a Final Salary Scheme with guaranteed benefits. Should I transfer my UK pension?
Final Salary Schemes offer a range of guaranteed benefits – in many ways they’re the best pension scheme you can have. They’re often index-linked and provide benefits to partners left behind in the event of your death.
If you’re considering transferring your UK pension, it really is worth asking a pensions expert to look at the benefits you’re entitled to currently and advise you on whether an International SIPP or a QROPS would be a better option.
How do I know whether transferring my UK pension is the best option?
In most cases, QROPS and International SIPPS are a good choice if you’re a non-UK resident looking to transfer your UK pension. But if you have guaranteed annuity rates, then transferring your pension may not be the best choice for you.
We only advise UK pension holders who are no longer resident in the UK
How much of my fund can I take as a cash lump sum?
Since April 2015, you’ve been able to take 100% of your fund as cash, provided your scheme´s rules allows for this. There are tax implications however if you choose to do this, and these will depend on which country you live in. We’ll always make you aware of potential tax liabilities and these will have a bearing on the advice we give you.
Can I transfer my UK pension myself?
No – you can only transfer your pension through an appointed and qualified intermediary. And we’re obliged to give you FCA-regulated advice if your pension has guaranteed benefits.
Can I transfer my State Pension Scheme?
No – we can only give advice about private or company pension schemes.
I have an annuity with an insurance company? Can I transfer it?
No – you must transfer your UK pension before buying any annuities.
What is a Letter of Authority?
It’s a letter signed by you, authorising the administrators of your UK pension to give your advisor an up-to-date valuation and technical details about your pension.
It does not give your advisor the authority to change or alter your pension in any way.
Using this information, your advisor can calculate the benefits you’ll receive when you retire, or if you choose to take any benefits early. Your advisor will also establish whether any additional benefits or guarantees form part of your current pension plan – and calculate what your estate will receive in the event of your death.
Does my pension need to be worth over a certain amount?
If you’re considering transferring your UK pension, we recommend that it’s worth at least £50,000. This is the minimum amount that allows you to take full advantage of QROPS or International SIPP status.
Can a UK resident apply for a QROPS?
Yes – although it’s unlikely that a QROPS will be suitable for a UK resident. We only give advice to non-UK residents about transferring their UK pensions.
Who can apply for an International SIPP or QROPS?
Anyone as long as they’re over the age of 18 and under 75.
Should I buy an annuity when I take my benefits?
You don’t have to, but there are some tax advantages in doing so. We can advise you when the time comes.