Pension transfer checklist
While there are many benefits to transferring existing pension schemes into an ii SIPP it may not always be beneficial to do so. Before you decide to transfer, you should check the following:
- Will you lose any valuable benefits such as guarantees or bonuses?
- Will your existing provider charge for transferring out?
- Would you be paying more in charges with our SIPP?
- Does your policy offer guaranteed annuity rates? You may lose a valuable benefit if you transfer out from a scheme offering guaranteed annuity rates. You many need advice from a suitably qualified financial adviser before you can transfer.
- Is your employer contributing to your current pension scheme? If they are, you will want to check that they will be prepared to contribute to the SIPP instead. It is easy for them to set up a direct debit for regular contributions.
- Will any market value adjustment (MVA) apply on transfer from your existing provider? This is often the case if you are invested in a With Profits fund and could result in the reduction of the value of your pension fund available to transfer
- Do you have protected tax-free cash higher than 25% of the fund or a protected retirement age (under 55)?
- Are you transferring a "final salary" or "defined benefit" scheme? If so, you should remember that the guaranteed income and any other "safeguarded" benefits will not be available in your SIPP. You will need to have advice from an independent, qualified, adviser before we can accept such a transfer if the value is £30,000 or more. Where the transfer value is less than £30,000, we may accept the transfer without advice where it will represent no more than 10% of the overall value of your ii SIPP.
Other things to bear in mind:
- Beware companies offering to help transfer pensions on your behalf or cash them in early - you can find out more about pension scams here.
- As with all investments, you may get back less than you invest in your new SIPP; you may not be able to hold the same funds (or class of fund) in your SIPP as you do in a current pension. But since our funds have no initial fee levied by the fund manager you may find we offer a wider choice and better terms for the funds you want.
- Some restrictions apply when it comes to transferring an overseas pension. We can usually accept transfers from a Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme so do check the scheme’s status with your provider. Such transfers are not counted as a "contribution" and do not count towards your annual allowance. We recommend that you contact us before making such a transfer so that we can let you know of any additional information we may need.
- During the transfer process there is a period where you will not have access to your assets (and therefore may be susceptible to out-of-market risks) while the transfer is being completed. How long this takes will depend on how complex the transfer is.
We want you to be happy with your choice, so if you’re not sure that our SIPP is right for you, we recommend you take independent advice before reaching a decision. If you require further information, please call our SIPP team on 0345 607 6001.