I have a big family and a successful career. As I’m now 60, I started to consider my assets and investments plus a pension from a previous employer that was in a bit of trouble, and also potentially surplus to our needs. I am aware that I also have a sizeable inheritance tax problem.
The deferred final salary pension from my former employer at 65 would give me an income of £60,000 a year. Presently the scheme are offering me a transfer value of £1,550,000 to leave the scheme.
This led me to think there has to be a better option for me and the family and was getting very nervous about my previous employer’s ability to survive in the current environment. I’m aware that if they don’t then the scheme might move into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and that the pension payable to me could be capped.
My main priority was that I wanted to pass on the value of the pension to my wife and our children on death without losing the benefits in the pension and remove the risk of losing out if my old employers went bust.
I was advised, after a thorough review of my financial position, that the pension wouldn’t be required to support us during my retirement. I was made aware that if my former employer failed and the pension scheme moved into the PPF, my pension from age 65 would under the current limits be capped at £34,655.05, some 40% lower than what I had expected! Even worse was that as I left the pension scheme in 1996, once in payment my pension would not increase in payment which means over time, because of inflation, its purchasing power would gradually be reduced.
My adviser also highlighted an important point - my assets and investments are subject to 40% inheritance tax for which I have done very little about – something that pensions don’t attract.
For all these reasons I decided that transferring out was the right decision for me and my family.
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Brenda had a pension from her retail days which provided an income of £19,500 pa from the scheme assuming no tax-free cash was taken. She wanted to take benefits as she was retiring, but wasn’t sure if she was getting the best deal from the scheme and so decided to take advice.
Tina had a pension from her ex-employer that has a revalued deferred pension of £28,000pa (assuming no tax free cash was taken). She is 60 and is looking to take benefits now. The transfer value offered was £840,000
Alex had a pension from his banking days which, for him, no longer met his requirements. He did not need to rely on this income for his retirement plans and felt that in its current form, he lacked the control and flexibility he wanted.
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