Pension Transfer Gold Standard
Your guide to the Pension Transfer Gold Standard
Do I need to take financial advice when considering whether to transfer my pension?
Pension transfers can be complicated and there are lots of things to think about before going ahead. Seeking professional financial advice will help to ensure you are better able to make a fully informed decision that is in your best interests.
In addition, taking regulated financial advice is compulsory for anyone looking to transfer what it termed ‘safeguarded’* benefits of more than £30,000 (*this means Defined Benefit/Final Salary Pension Schemes, Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) and pensions with Guaranteed Annuity Rates (GARs)).
This rule is there for your protection to make sure you are aware of all the pros and cons of transferring.
What is the Pension Transfer Gold Standard?
The Pensions Advice Taskforce (an industry backed initiative from the Personal Finance Society) established a voluntary code of good conduct for pension transfer advice (the ‘Gold Standard’).
The Pension Transfer Gold Standard is designed to help you recognise and find firms that will give advice that adheres to high professional standards.
How by adhering to the Pension Transfer Gold Standard we will demonstrate good practice
In addition to the standard financial advice rules and regulations, we, as a Pension Transfer Gold Standard firm, also commit to the following objectives: -
1. Helping you understand when advice is appropriate, before you take it
The value of guaranteed benefits available to members of a Defined Benefit or Final Salary pension scheme are such that for most a transfer to a Money Purchase arrangement, where you take on the investment risk of your pension fund, is unlikely to be in your best long-term interests.
So, it is important that you have enough information about the advantages and disadvantages so you can decide whether taking advice is appropriate, before you take it and incur any costs in doing so.
2. Ensuring advice given supports your overall wellbeing in the context of your stated objectives, needs and wants.
We will help you understand how a transfer will benefit and fit in with your stated objectives, overall retirement plan and your long-term well-being. One outcome of the advice may be to recommend staying in your existing pension scheme.
3. Ensuring the most appropriate technical skills are utilised on your behalf.
We will ensure that our required Pension Transfer Specialist (PTS) holds qualifications applicable to both that role and for advising on investments, so they are qualified to advise you on the complete end-to-end transfer process including the ultimate destination of the transfer funds.
4. Ensuring your transfer is invested appropriately.
Unregulated investments are one of the dangers and risks of any pension transfer. Consequently, we will only recommend mainstream investments from regulated investment companies (this may differ if you are an expert investor) and will not accept introductions from unregulated firms that provide, facilitate or otherwise arrange unregulated investments.
5. Ensuring your understanding and acceptance of all charges
Pension transfer advice can be complicated and can sometimes be perceived as expensive. Before you incur any costs we will ensure you have a full understanding of exactly how much money you will be charged and when. If you proceed with a transfer we will ask you to confirm this understanding in writing.
6. Help you understand how the adviser will manage any Conflicts of Interest
We will draw your attention to any Conflicts of Interest in giving pension transfer advice and how these are managed in your best interests.
7. Help you understand the cost to you of transferring your benefits.
We will provide you with a Transfer Value Comparator (TVC) which compares the transfer value being offered with how much it would cost you to buy back the guaranteed benefits you would be giving up, on the open market. We will also ensure that you understand how much you might be giving up to achieve your objectives by transferring, before a transfer takes place.
8. Help you understand the advice processes and recent client outcomes.
We will make available any reasonable requests you make about internal advice processes and Management Information. The latter will include non-personalised details in respect of all client/prospective client engagement over the past 12-month period, those referred into a triage process, those who subsequently went on to take advice and those who subsequently received a recommendation to transfer their pension.
For more information download your 'Consumer Guide to the Gold Standard’
Why the Pension Transfer Gold Standard is important.
People often underestimate both their life expectancy and the real value of their 'safeguarded' benefits. Consequently, people can end up making an expensive mistake by transferring valuable 'safeguarded' pension benefits without fully understanding the implications or costs of this.
The Pension Transfer Gold Standard is intended to help you find firms like Rowley Turton that will give you high quality professional financial advice on your options.
Our commitment to the Pension Transfer Gold Standard is part of our wider commitment to ensuring that our clients receive the very best independent financial advice on all matters.
If you're considering transferring a final salary pension scheme or any other 'safeguarded' pension scheme please contact us for professional and independent pension advice.