DB PENSION CALCULATOR
In the last few years there has been a surge in demand for Defined Benefit Pension Transfers, partly due to historically high transfer values and partly due to new pension rules that came into play in 2015. If you’re considering a transfer, the first place to start is to obtain your Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV)
How to calculate Defined Benefit Pension Value
If you don’t have your CETV yet, you can use our simple calculator to see what Transfer Value you could be offered. Your transfer value will be decided by your Pension scheme trustee and may be subject to change. You’ll need to contact them directly to get an up to date estimate.
You can use this Defined Benefit Pension Calculator to give you a better idea of what you might be offered as a transfer value. It’s a starting point if you’re trying to decide whether a pension transfer could be right for you
How Much is my Pension Worth?
Across the market there is a wide range of transfer values on offer – normally between 20-25 times your pensionable income, although some schemes provide transfer values more than double other schemes, reflecting the wide range of methods used by pension scheme administrators to calculate transfer values.
You will need to input your age and when your pension will start – if your pension is not due to start at 60 or 65, select the age that is closest to your scheme retirement age.
This defined benefit pension transfer value calculator offers you an estimate on what the DB transfer value could be based your deferred pension. This tool is not designed to replace professional advice, always talk to a qualified pension transfer specialist before you transfer your pension.
Defined Benefit Pension schemes are the gold-standard of pensions in the UK. They offer a guaranteed income for life that is protected against inflation. They also include a survivors pension for your spouse when you die. So they should not be given up lightly.
Unless you are in a public sector ‘unfunded’ defined benefit scheme such as Teachers, Emergency Services or the Armed Forces It is usually possible to transfer out of your Defined Benefit scheme.
If your transfer value is over £30,000 you are required to seek financial advice and have a recommendation from a pension transfer specialist before you will be able to move your money.
If you’re considering transferring out of a Defined Benefit scheme, you should be aware that you will be giving up a valuable guaranteed pension that may have other benefits attached to it. It may not be in your best interests to transfer your pension and you should make yourself aware of all of the risks involved in a DB transfer.
Reasons you might consider a DB Transfer
Whilst Defined Benefit (DB) pensions are the gold standard in terms of providing a life-long guaranteed income in retirement, they do have certain drawbacks. Since the new rules affecting pension freedoms were brought into place there has been an increase in those seeking to transfer out of their scheme.
Here are just some of the reasons you might consider moving your pension:
With a DB Pension, you are restricted by the scheme retirement age. You may be able to retire earlier, but it is at the discretion of the trustees and your pension will be reduced to reflect this. You can access a Defined Contribution pension from the age of 55 without penalty.
2) Leaving a legacy
Whilst your DB Pension provides a Spouse or Dependent’s pension if you die, it will be at a reduced amount and the benefit dies with them, they cannot pass it on in a will. With a defined contribution pension like a SIPP, you can name any beneficiary in your will and they will receive the full amount that is left in your pot.
3) Ill health
If you have ill-health with a reduced life expectancy the amount you will receive from your final salary pension remains the same.
If you transfer to a defined contribution pension then you have the option to buy an enhanced annuity, which, for those in ill health, could provide a higher income than if you took the income available from your final salary scheme.
Alternatively, if leaving a financial legacy is a priority, you could transfer your pension to a drawdown pension and take advantage of the inheritance rules surrounding personal pensions.
4) Access to a tax-free lump sum
Those with a defined benefit scheme usually have the option of taking a lump sum at retirement. The amount you can take is normally worked out by a “commutation factor”, where you give up a portion of your annual income in exchange for a lump sum on retirement. How your cash lump sum is calculated is subject to your pension scheme’s rules and often results in you receiving less than 25% of your pension pot.
You also usually need to take your lump sum at the same time as you retire. Under the new DC pension rules, you can access 25% of your pot tax-free from the age of 55. You don’t need to start taking your pension and you don’t need to take it all in one go.
Whether it’s income tax-planning or inheritance tax planning, having your money in a DC pension arrangement offers more flexibility. With a DC pension, you can opt to take a flexible income, which may help you manage your income tax liability.
If you find yourself over the Lifetime allowance (LTA) limit you can delay payment of the excess tax until you are 75 (you’ll need to keep your withdrawals under the LTA limit up until then).
It’s also worth noting that in most cases, money held within a pension is free of Inheritance tax, but once it’s paid out to you, it becomes part of your estate and could be liable for Inheritance tax.
Read more on Final Salary vs Defined Contribution Pensions
The Risks of Defined Benefit Pension Transfer
For most people, a defined benefit transfer is not in their best interests and could leave them financially worse off in later life.
Investment Risk and Cost
If you transfer out of a DB pension, you move from a pension with no investment risk or management costs to being in charge of your own investment strategy with all of the associated risks and costs that brings. Your investments could perform badly, you could take too much money and run out.
If you are uncomfortable with risk then a transfer could be completely unsuitable.
There’s also the cost of financial advice for transferring your pension, which may be significant. DB Pension transfers are a highly specialised area and the process is a lengthy one.
2) Lifetime Allowance
If you have a DB pension, your LTA is calculated by your pension provider and is usually worked out on 20 times your first year’s pension plus your lump sum. Which means that someone with a £50,000-a-year pension income could still fall within the new £1,030,000 limit and could avoid the tax. However, if that same person is offered a cash equivalent transfer value greater than 21 times their annual pension (and we’ve seen offers up to 41 times the annual pension), they will find themselves liable for the Lifetime allowance on anything over the limit.
Find out more about the Lifetime allowance and Final Salary Pensions
3) Loss of Benefits
DB Pensions are guaranteed for life, they are also protected against inflation and will pay a survivors pension to your spouse when you die. If you transfer you lose these guarantees.
You may also have a protected early retirement age or a guaranteed lump sum. It’s important that you understand what benefits you might be giving up before you consider anything.
Defined Benefit Pension Transfer Advice
If you’d like more information about the risks and benefits of Defined Benefit Pension Transfer Download our free Definitive Guide to Final Salary Pension Transfer.
If you’re looking for DB transfer advice and would like to talk to an expert, schedule a free call with our Pension Transfer Specialist today. We can help you decide whether Pension Transfer could be right for you.
HOW A PENSION SPECIALIST CAN HELP YOU
It’s a regulatory requirement that you receive advice from a Qualified Pension Transfer Specialist before moving your pension if your pension transfer value is worth more than £30,000. Pension Transfer Advice can help you in a number of ways:
It’s hard to understand the true value of your pension from the cash equivalent transfer value alone. You might have spousal benefits, protected early retirement and other associated benefits. Our in-depth reports can help you understand the true value of what you might be giving up before you make your decision.
Financial Planning & Goal Setting
Your needs and goals should be at the heart of every pension transfer case, so our pensions transfer process starts with getting to know you and your goals: we build your financial plan around that. We’ll talk you through all of your options so you can decide what feels right for you.
It’s easy to be swayed by market volatility and media noise but we prefer to take a long-term view on investing. Our experts focus on understanding your goals and have access to the whole of the market to choose quality assets that will deliver returns over time.
Pension Transfer Resources
Our specialists have compiled a handy resource library to help answer your most frequently asked questions
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This defined benefit pension calculator is provided for general information purposes only. It is a guide and does not reflect the actual transfer value that you will need to obtain from your Pension Scheme Administrator.
Any information contained within this website should not be deemed to constitute financial advice, and should not be relied upon as the basis for a decision to enter into a transaction, or as the basis for any financial or investment decision. It is provided for general information and it is vital (and in most cases a regulatory requirement) that you contact a Qualified Pension Transfer Specialist for tailored professional advice in regard to the suitability of any transfer.
- No individual or company should act upon such information without receiving appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of their particular situation. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of any articles.
- If you are a member of a pension scheme with safeguarded benefits, it is likely it would be in your best interests to retain the safeguarded benefits.
- Make sure you understand all the risks before investing.
- The value of investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise and you may not get back your original investment. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
- Once you transfer, you will become responsible for the management of your investments.