3 Steps to a successful Pension Transfer2019-05-03T13:17:40+00:00

3 Steps to a Successful Pension Transfer

Step by Step

We’ve broken down the steps required to ensure a successful Pension Transfer to help you understand what you will need to do and when. Along with getting an accurate estimate of your Transfer Value with a full breakdown of all of the benefits attached to your existing Pension, you’ll also need to talk to a Qualified Pension Transfer Specialist to get professional advice and most importantly you’ll need to draw up a plan of action for the future that includes making sound investment decisions and using tax-efficient practices to make the most of your money.

Step 1 – Ask for your pension transfer value

If you’re considering a Final Salary Pension Transfer, the first step is to request a Pension Transfer Offer aka a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV), in writing, from your Pension Scheme Administrator. You can do this by submitting a request for a Transfer Offer** to the scheme administrator. Either you can ask for this, or you can ask your financial adviser to do this on your behalf, with you cc’d in on the correspondence. If you already know who you are going to use for financial advice, it makes sense to involve this adviser as early as possible. They will then be able to go direct to the pension scheme administrator for any information not included in the transfer value offer.

You should also request details of any other benefits attached to your Final Salary Pension i.e. Spousal Support in the event of your death, protected pensionable age etc. It is important when deciding whether or not to transfer your Final Salary Pension to consider the full value of all of the benefits you are giving up.

Transfer Offers generally come with a three-month guaranteed window*, during which the scheme will not recalculate the transfer value. This gives you three months to get the advice you need and make a decision or defer the decision until a later time.

*Please note that this may not be the case for all schemes.  If in doubt you can request details of the process from your Pension Scheme Administrator or ask your financial adviser to clarify the process.

** Final salary pension holders are generally entitled to one free transfer offer calculation per year. If you want more than this you may be charged for the actuary’s time. This is typically a few hundred pounds.

Step 2 – Talk to a Financial Adviser

For a successful Final Salary Pension Transfer, it’s important to seek advice from a qualified professional. For those with transfer offers of more than £30,000, it is now a regulatory requirement to obtain professional advice from a Qualified Pension Transfer Specialist. This must be done before any pension transfer can be executed. Your final salary pension transfer will be refused unless there is proof that this advice has been received.

If you are not sure what to ask your Financial Adviser then have a look at our handy checklist. It covers everything that should be discussed when you seek final salary pension advice. You should also consider the 4 questions you should ask yourself before you transfer your pension.

Step 3 – Establish a Financial Plan

You will need to have a plan in place for after you have requested your final salary pension transfer. This plan needs to include:

  • How will the transferred money be investedwhat kind of investments will make up your pension fund?
  • Who will manage your investments?to ensure you are getting the right advice and financial management on an on-going basis; and
  • When you think you might need to make pension withdrawalswhat will these withdrawals be? For how much? And when?

Once you have decided on the above your financial adviser will need to find a secure, cost-effective and properly serviced pension solution that will facilitate your retirement plan.

Make Tax Work For You

At this point, it is also advisable to review all your existing investments such as your use of ‘tax wrappers’ such as ISAs and offshore bonds. If you are generating an income in your retirement make sure you are taking advantage of all of the tax opportunities available to you…

With the flexibility of pension drawdown (try our pension drawdown calculator) and with the extra cash from the tax-free lump sum you should be looking to see how you can optimise:

  • Any available dividend allowance
  • Lower Capital Gains tax rates
  • Your Personal Savings allowance
  • Tax-free ISA income


Sometimes it’s just nice to talk to a human. Especially when that person is a Qualified Pension Transfer Specialist with experience of Final Salary Pension Transfers. We offer a free, no obligation, 20-minute call with one of our specialists. Pick our brains, get your questions answered and find out how to get started or arrange an introductory meeting to get the ball rolling. Call us on 02380 981161 or contact us below.

Contact us

Frequently Asked Questions

Got a Question? Speak to a specialist
How to choose a Financial Adviser for a Pension Transfer2018-01-17T15:04:40+00:00
FAQ Financial Adviser

If you are considering a Final Salary Pension Transfer chances are that you will need to choose a Financial Adviser to help you. It is a regulatory requirement for Pension Transfers over £30,000 that you receive advice from a Qualified Pension Transfer Specialist.

It is important to understand that this is not just a box-ticking exercise, your Financial Adviser will need to carry out in-depth analysis on your financial situation and will have to provide a personal recommendation in order for you to transfer your pension. If they believe that it is not in your best interests to do so, you will not be able to transfer out of your scheme. They will provide you with the reasons why. This process is designed to protect you and your money.

If you proceed with a Final Salary Pension Transfer you will be taking over the responsibility for how your pension pot is invested so it’s likely that you’ll be working with your financial adviser for a long time, it’s important to choose someone qualified, experienced, trustworthy and someone that you are happy to work with on an on-going basis.

How to choose a Financial Adviser – Important things to check

  • Are they authorised by the FCA?
  • Are they a pension specialist?
  • Do they have experience of Final Salary Pension Transfer?
  • Can they provide references?
  • What are their charges initial and ongoing?

Are they authorised by the FCA?

Make sure that the person you are dealing with is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and qualified to advise on Pension Transfers. This is a highly specialised field that requires professional qualifications. You can check whether your Financial Adviser is authorised to carry out this work on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register.

What to look for on the FCA register?

Firstly that the company’s status is Authorised.

Secondly, under permissions you should see a box that says ‘Advising on Pension Transfers and Pension Opt-Outs’ If the firm you are dealing with is not authorised to give advice, you should find a local Pension Specialist who is. If in doubt, you can contact the FCA.

Here is our FCA register entry https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDetailsPage?id=001b000000NMODtAAP

Do they have experience of Final Salary Pension Transfer?

Check that your Financial Adviser has relevant experience with Final Salary Pension Transfer. You can ask for references from existing Pension Transfer clients.

Ask them for details of their process. Who will be your contact? How will they keep you updated etc? It’s best to understand this now.

How much does your Financial Adviser charge?

Be sure you know how much your transfer is going to cost – now and in the future. Financial Advisor fees vary massively. Ask what fees will be incurred for

  • The initial research and report
  • Carrying out the transfer
  • Costs for investing your money in a personal pension
  • On-going management fees etc

It makes sense to shop around for the best deal, especially when it comes to on-going fees as these can make a big difference over time. Don’t be afraid to negotiate – it always helps if you know what other local advisers are charging for similar work.

You can find details of our charges here

Do your homework and be thorough. It’s important to find the right Financial Adviser for you.

Talk to a Financial Adviser

Free Resources

You will need to speak to a professional but if you are considering transferring your Final Salary Pension, there are a number of free resources we would encourage you to take a look at.

The Pension Advisory Service (TPAS) 

Set up to provide free professional, independent and impartial help with their pensions

Pension Wise

A government website providing information about the Pension Changes and options for Personal Pension Holders and those with workplace pensions.

Money Advice Service

A great resource for money advice. It also contains a handy budgeting tool.

Pension Protection Fund (PPF)

Provides details about the scheme set up to compensate those with Defined Benefit (Final Salary) Pension Schemes if their scheme collapses.

We’ve also written some helpful pieces on our blog including ‘How much do I need to Retire’


Sometimes it’s just nice to talk to a human. Especially when that person is a Qualified Pension Transfer Specialist with experience of Final Salary Pension Transfers. We offer a free, no obligation, 20-minute call with one of our specialists. Pick our brains, get your questions answered and find out how to get started or arrange an introductory meeting to get the ball rolling. Call us on 02380 981161 or contact us below.

Contact us
What happens to my Defined Benefit Pension if my employer goes bust?2018-01-17T15:07:55+00:00

A Defined Benefit Pension, AKA a Final Salary Pension guarantees to pay its members a defined amount per year, for life. However, it’s a common concern “What happens to my Defined Benefit Pension if my employer goes bust?”

The answer is that it depends on the circumstances and what is agreed between the Pension Scheme Administrators and its members and/or whether there is any government intervention. The likely outcome is, if your Final Salary Pension Scheme is eligible, that you may be protected by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) which acts as an insurance policy should your employer’s pension fund get into trouble or if the business goes bust in the future. You’ll generally receive a maximum of 90% of what your pension was worth at the time, up to £34,655.05 per year, a figure set by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). 

You can find out more on the Pension Protection Fund website or read our blog post What is the Pension Protection Fund

What happens to my Final Salary Pension if I die?2018-01-17T15:09:31+00:00

It’s a big concern for some people, ‘what happens to my loved ones if I die?’ Will they be provided for?

Whilst you cannot transfer the full amount of your Final Salary/Defined Benefit Pension fund over to a Spouse if you die, There’s normally a provision made by the Pension Scheme Administrator for a Spouse and dependent children. The amount they will receive varies from scheme to scheme.

If you’re not married and don’t have dependent children then your pension pot gets absorbed back into the employer’s pension fund when you die. Unlike a Personal Pension, you cannot pass it on or nominate someone to inherit it.  

** December 2017 update – due to a successful legal challenge it may now be possible for ‘common-law’ partners to make a claim for part of your pension if you die. see the links below for details of the cases

Unmarried woman wins automatic right to late partner’s pension


Same-sex couple win landmark Pension Equality case


How do I get a Pension Transfer Estimate?2018-01-17T15:10:18+00:00

Your Pension Fund amount and the Transfer amount (known as the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value or CETV) are not the same thing. You should receive an annual update from your Pension Scheme Administrator that contains this information but if you do not have an up-to-date estimate you will need to request your Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) from your Pension Scheme Administrator

You might also like…

The definitive guide to final salary pensions
Final Salary Pension Calculator
final salary pension when I die


This guide does not constitute personal advice, nor should it be treated as such. 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 personal financial advice and obtain a recommendation to transfer before opting out.

  • 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. Once you transfer, you will become responsible for the management of your investments.
  • Any information contained within this website should not be deemed to constitute investment 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. Investors should always seek professional advice in regard to the suitability of any investment.

People who receive financial advice are on average £40,000 better off than their unadvised peers

Research by International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK), 2017

9 in 10 people were satisfied with financial advice received, with the clear majority deciding to go with their adviser’s recommendation.

ILC-UK, 2017
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