Pension advice that's right for you

For the majority of us our goal is early retirement, yet how many of us actually make a conscious effort to consider pension planning?

When it’s often deemed an issue that will affect us only in the distant future, it is easy to relegate the topic to the ‘back burner’ and spend our energies coping with our all-too-often frenetic working conditions, our families and fitting both into busy social lives.

Yet, providing for retirement is a major consideration and one we all need to take a long honest look at, because it affects not only ourselves, but our families too. Deciding when we can afford to take a step back, yet maintain a particular lifestyle, requires careful pension planning.

UK Pension FAQs

  • Can I transfer my UK pension?

    This depends on the type of scheme that you are enrolled in. Most pension schemes, whether it be defined benefit (DB) or defined contribution (DC) will permit transfers out. However, if you have worked in the public sector such as the Armed Forces you will have an ‘unfunded’ pension and you will not be able to transfer out. 

  • How does a pension transfer work?

    If you decide to transfer your pension offshore, your financial adviser will ask you to sign a ‘letter of authority’ which grants them access from the pension trustees to information about your pension. The trustees of your pension scheme will then convert the benefits you’ve accumulated into a cash equivalent transfer value (CETV), which can then be invested into a recognised offshore scheme such as a QROPS.

  • What is pension transfer value?

    Transfer value is different from your fund value. The transfer value is the cash amount you would get if you moved it offshore. It’s important to note that transfer values can change and there may also be exit fees depending on whether your transfer value is the same as the total fund value or not.

  • What is a QROPS?

    A QROPS is a pension based in an offshore financial jurisdiction, such as Malta, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, as well as the Channel Islands. The pension is similar to a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) in the UK. To learn more, take a look at our quick guide to QROPS pensions for expats.

  • What is a SIPP?

    A Self-Invested Personal Pension is more flexible and gives you more freedom over investment choice than a traditional pension. A SIPP will allow you to invest in stocks & shares, bonds & gilts, OEICs, ETFs, commercial property and lots more. If you want to take control of your own pension and confident making your own investment decisions, then a SIPP may be right for you.