Can I transfer my pension out?
At any time before you start to draw your pension, you can ask us to transfer the value of your benefits to another registered pension arrangement.
This value of your benefits is called a 'cash equivalent transfer value'. A cash equivalent transfer value will be provided in your retirement pack shortly before your Normal Retirement Date but you can ask for a statement of your cash equivalent transfer value at any time (but usually not more than once in any 12-month period).
If you want to arrange a transfer please ask the administrator of your new scheme or your financial adviser to write to us. You must also give them a letter, which you have signed, authorising us to release the relevant information to that person.
You must get regulated independent financial advice, from a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised adviser before transferring to a DC arrangement that offers flexible access under the Government’s pension freedom rules. This applies if the cash equivalent value of your APS pension (also known as ‘Defined Benefits (DB)’ or ‘Safeguarded Benefits’) exceeds £30,000.
Your Adviser will be required to complete an FCA-authorised advice form (which you must also sign) to confirm that you have received appropriate advice concerning the possible transfer of your pension benefits to another arrangement.
While not a requirement for transfers of less than £30,000 to a DC arrangement, your Scheme Trustee strongly recommends that you take independent financial advice before making any decisions about your pension benefits, including transferring.
New Pension Wise guidance regulations from 1 June 2022
New regulations have come into force which are intended to increase the take-up of free pensions guidance from Pension Wise, in order to help you make informed decisions about your options when accessing your pension if you have AVCs. If you have AVCs, when you apply to draw or transfer out your pension, we will direct you to appropriate pensions guidance available through Pension Wise.
When you apply to draw your pension benefits, we will:
- Offer to book a Pension Wise appointment for you; and
- Provide you with details to allow you to book an appointment yourself.
We will ask you to complete a form to confirm that:
- You have received Pension Wise guidance; or
- The guidance does not apply to you (for example, because you have received regulated retirement advice within the previous 12 months); or
- You wish to opt out of receiving Pension Wise guidance.
We have published our Pension Wise Guidance pack on the Forms page of our website. The pack includes details about Pension Wise and a form to fill in when you draw your pension benefits.
If you are thinking about requesting a CETV quotation, please click here to read a letter prepared jointly by TPR, the FCA, and the Pensions Advisory Service. It contains important information on points you should consider before making a decision and where you should go for impartial guidance.
There are many things to consider when deciding whether to transfer your benefits. You should make sure that you have full details of the benefits your new arrangement will provide and the possible benefits you would be giving up under the BA Scheme. We can give you more details and discuss the options generally, but if you need any guidance on comparing the different benefits available, you should consult an independent financial adviser.
You should always ask your financial adviser questions to identify any increased risks associated with how you may be considering accessing their pension benefits. The Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA) has provided a useful guide on what to ask an adviser.
You can also take advantage of free impartial guidance which is available from Money Helper.
New conditions for pension transfers from November 2021
The Pension Schemes Act 2021 introduces two new conditions that must be met before a transfer can be paid from a defined benefit pension scheme, such as APS or NAPS, to another UK or overseas pension arrangement. The two conditions are applied in order and, if neither condition is met, any statutory right you may have to transfer is removed and your Scheme’s Trustee can stop the transfer from going ahead.
Condition 1 identifies certain pension arrangements that are deemed to be safe. These include public sector pension schemes, authorised master trusts and authorised collective money purchase schemes – but not personal pensions with an insurer. If this condition is met, the transfer can proceed and there is no requirement to meet condition 2.
Condition 2 checks for specific warning signs of a pension scam or high-risk investment that could result in an individual losing a significant portion of their fund value (defined as red or amber flags in the Pension Schemes Act 2021). A red flag is likely to mean that the transfer cannot go ahead. An amber flag is likely to mean that the transfer can only go ahead if the individual can demonstrate that they’ve received expert scams guidance from the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), a body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions.
If you are thinking about a transfer, we need to check whether condition 2 applies before you can go ahead. If it does, we must check whether any of the red or amber flags below apply to your transfer.
The red and amber flags:
|Red flags||Amber flags|
|You fail or refuse to provide the evidence requested by the transferring Scheme||Incomplete response to requests for evidence|
|If directed to, you fail to take specified guidance from the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS)||Where applicable, the evidence does not demonstrate an employment or residency link to the receiving arrangement|
|You have received financial advice from an IFA without the correct regulatory permissions||The evidence supplied does not appear genuine or has been provided by a third party and not you|
|You received unsolicited contact regarding the transfer (i.e. you were contacted out of the blue, or ‘cold called’)||Investments in the receiving scheme are high risk, unregulated, unclear, complex, or unorthodox|
|You have been offered an incentive to transfer||The fees charged by the receiving arrangement are unclear or high|
|You have been pressured to make a transfer||The receiving arrangement includes overseas investments|
|We experience a sudden rise in the volume of requests from same adviser or to the same receiving arrangement|
Keep ahead of the latest scams!
The number of reported scams since the start of the COVID-19 situation has increased dramatically. Please visit the FCA's website to stay up-to-date and avoid falling victim.