As an alternative to a deferred pension or retiring and taking a pension from the Scheme, you can transfer the cash equivalent value of your deferred pension to another approved pension arrangement. This could be a personal pension or a pension with a new employer.
If you are considering transferring the value of your ABF pension to another pension arrangement, please contact us. You will be sent a quotation, together with forms that need to be completed and returned before the transfer value can be paid out.
We cannot provide you with a transfer pack if you are still contributing to the Scheme as the value is calculated using the deferred pension at your date of leaving the Scheme. We can provide you with an indication of the transfer value, however this will not be guaranteed and you will only be sent the full transfer pack once you have left the Scheme and your deferred pension has been calculated.
How is the transfer value calculated?
Your benefits in the Scheme are a pension that will be paid to you when you reach 65. The Scheme has to convert your pension to an equivalent value. They do this on a basis set by the Scheme’s Actuary, using factors that reflect your age at the time of the calculation and the current market factors.
The value will be guaranteed for 3 months from the date of the calculation and if you wish to go ahead, you must return all of the documents that we request from you within this 3-month period.
If you request another transfer value after the 3-month period has expired, this may be higher or lower than the value previously quoted. You are entitled to request a free transfer quotation once in any 12-month period. The Trustee reserves the right to charge for any subsequent requests within that 12-month period.
Taking financial advice
Following changes introduced by the Government in 2015, if your transfer value is more than £30,000 and you are transferring to a Defined Contribution (DC) arrangement, then you must take advice from an approved financial adviser before the Trustee can transfer your benefits. This is to ensure that you understand the value of the benefits that you will be giving up if you transfer from the DB Section of the Scheme to a DC arrangement.
You can find an approved adviser near you by visiting www.unbiased.co.uk.
The Government has set up the MoneyHelper service to provide free and impartial advice. You can find out more by visiting the MoneyHelper website: www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/pensions-and-retirement. Before completing a transfer there may be a requirement for you to be referred to MoneyHelper to receive specialist pension scams guidance.
In addition, if you are over the age of 50 and hold AVC benefits within the Scheme, the Trustees may be required to direct you to seek guidance from Pension Wise before you can transfer your Scheme benefits, purchase a lifetime annuity or take a single cash lump sum from the Scheme, if you meet certain criteria. You can find more information, including how to book an appointment on their website: www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/pensions-and-retirement/pension-wise
New restrictions on transferring your pension
From 30th November 2021, the Government has introduced new conditions which must be met if you wish to transfer your pension out of the Scheme. These have been introduced to help combat the increase in pension scams which are taking place. Based on reports to Action Fraud, over £30 million was lost to pension scams between 2017 and 2020 with scammers adopting increasingly sophisticated tactics.
Should you request a transfer and one or more of the new conditions cannot be met, you will not be able to transfer your pension out of the Scheme to your chosen provider. Please be aware that if you request a transfer we will ask you for certain information to be provided to help us determine if the new conditions have been met and we may also need to speak to you by phone.
Should we require any further information or need to speak to you by phone, this must be directly with you and not via any third party (for example an Independent Financial Advisor). Please be patient when requesting a transfer as these new requirements are adding significant processing time whilst we carry out all of the required checks.
For further details on the conditions that must be met and how we will process your transfer request, please click here.
Do you know how to spot a pension scam?
As already noted above, there are a significant number of pension scams taking place and you need to be aware of the companies and individuals who may try to convince you to transfer your benefits to an arrangement that is later found to be a scam. You can find more information on how to identify and avoid potential scams by clicking here.