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Transferring your benefits

You can transfer your Scheme benefits to another HMRC-registered pension arrangement. You will need to:

  • Opt out of the Scheme and become a deferred member
  • Take financial advice if your transfer value is more than £30,000 — this is a legal requirement
  • Fully understand the implications of transferring out — what this means for you and whether it’s right for you. Transferring your benefits out of the Scheme is an important financial decision.

You can transfer your benefits to:

  • Another occupational pension scheme
  • A personal pension, e.g. a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) or other individual pension arrangement
  • A qualifying recognised overseas scheme (QROPS).

If you are considering transferring out and want a more detailed understanding of what this means for you, login to My Retirement Planner. It’s a secure online tool that explains more about transferring out and other retirement options. It’s designed to help you understand and compare these options but not to tell you what to do. My Retirement Planner also links to additional support and guidance, including access to dedicated and independent financial advice.

The Trustee has appointed a specialist firm of independent financial advisers (IFA) to help you make sense of your options. They can provide bespoke advice based on your retirement figures and specific circumstances. The Trustee will pay for you to receive advice once when you’re within a year of your earliest Scheme retirement age (usually age 54). You can use your own IFA if you wish but you will have to pay for this yourself.

For most of you who are within a year of your earliest retirement age, My Retirement Planner will provide your Scheme retirement figures and an illustrative transfer value. This represents the equivalent cash value of the Scheme benefits you have earned so far. If you are made redundant, My Retirement Planner may not show your latest figures until after your redundancy date.

If you decide to leave the Scheme and transfer out, you have a legal right to apply for a transfer value at any time up to one year before your pension is due to start. You are entitled to one free transfer quote a year from Mercer. If you are within one year of your normal pension start date, or if you are over normal Scheme retirement age, you will need Trustee approval.

Beware
There are a lot of unscrupulous people out there who will try and trick you out of your hard-earned benefits. If you are contacted by anyone offering you a ‘pensions review’ or wanting to discuss your pension, your best bet is to hang up or delete the email. In fact, pensions cold calling is now illegal. Visit the Financial Conduct Authority’s website for the latest news and tips on how to avoid falling victim to scams. There are other useful links on the documents page.

The process

  1. 1.

    Visit My Retirement Planner to understand your options.

Over age 54+

  1. 2.

    View your Scheme retirement options and illustrative transfer value.

  2. 3.

    Request advice from the Trustee-appointed IFA via My Retirement Planner.

  3. 4.

    The IFA will contact you within seven days to discuss your options and do an online ‘fact find’. This will include information about your income, expenditure, savings, debts and retirement goals. They will provide a personal recommendation report for you.

  4. 5.

    Want to go ahead? They will manage the process and request a guaranteed transfer value from Mercer.

  5. 6.

    They tell Mercer what you’ve decided. Mercer send out the forms to complete the process. It’s important to complete the paperwork fully to avoid delaying the process.

Under age 54+

  1. 2.

    Request advice from the Trustee-appointed IFA via My Retirement Planner.

  2. 3.

    They will contact you within seven days to discuss your options and do an online ‘fact find’. This will include information about your income, expenditure, savings, debts and retirement goals. They will provide a personal recommendation report for you.

  3. 4.

    Want to go ahead? They will manage the process and request a guaranteed transfer value from Mercer.

  4. 5.

    They tell Mercer what you’ve decided. Mercer then sends out the forms to complete the process. It’s important to complete the paperwork fully to avoid delaying the process.

  5. 6.

    Alternatively, you can email Mercer and request an illustrative transfer value*.

  6. 7.

    Mercer will send you a quote within 10 working days.

* You’re entitled to one free quote in a 12-month rolling period. You may be charged for further quotes.

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