UK Pension Transfers

When or why transfer a pension

Pension schemes vary on many levels – costs, investment policies, benefits, rules and restrictions, to name just a few. The pensions industry and related legislation are constantly changing, and so does your own life and aspirations. As a result, you may find your existing plan no longer suitable to your situation and, in such case, transferring to a different scheme can provide one or more of the following benefits: List of reasons to restructure your pension

  • Lower costs.
  • Wider investment options.
  • Higher investment returns and/or lower risk.
  • More flexible or favourable rules.

Transferring or restructuring your pension should be considered particularly in these cases:

  • You have changed jobs and are no longer contributing to your old scheme.
  • Your existing pension scheme is being changed or closed.
  • If you have multiple pension plans, consolidating them in one place can reduce costs and provide access to more attractive opportunities which often require a higher minimum investment. Not least, it will be much easier to manage.

With the above said, transferring a pension is a very complex task, which should not be undertaken without careful consideration of all consequences.

Things to watch out for

  • It typically involves not only substantial amounts of money, but also substantial paperwork, with small print to read and deadlines to meet. Mistakes and omissions can be very costly.
  • Your existing scheme may have exit penalties. It may also provide guarantees, bonuses or other benefits which you will lose when transferring out. Make sure you understand not only what you will gain with the new provider, but also what you will lose with the old one.
  • Changing your pension arrangements can have unforeseen legal and tax consequences, which are easy to overlook or underestimate – especially those which will only materialise in retirement.
  • Assessment of different offers available on the market is difficult without experience. You need to be able to distinguish between guaranteed and merely estimated (promised) returns, understand how all charges are calculated and who bears the investment risks (it's often you).

In light of the above, professional advice is strongly recommended before making any decisions. This is where we enter the process.

Why Bridgewater?

  • Expertise – We have 30 years of experience advising clients on pension transfers.
  • Independence – We are not affiliated with any banks, insurance companies or pension providers. Rather than selling financial products, we work for the client, providing unbiased and impartial advice.
  • Technology and methods – We stay up to date with the latest research and have access to sophisticated quantitative tools, which help us identify the best solutions for a particular client.
  • Highly personalised service – Knowing the numbers is only one part of the process. Knowing the person with his or her unique needs, goals and aspirations is equally important. A bespoke, individual approach is how we compete with large financial institutions.

The process: What to expect

  1. The first step is to contact us using the phone number or online contact form below.
  2. With your permission we obtain information from your pension providers.
  3. Once the information is in, we carry out a thorough preliminary review. The purpose of this is to determine what options are available to you and, in particular, whether there is any case for a transfer. This initial reviews provided free of charge.
  4. If the initial review suggests that it may be beneficial for you to transfer we will meet with you to obtain full details of your personal and financial situation, your attitude to risk and your specific goals. At this stage we will also agree our fees with you which are based on the size of the transfers and are always fully disclosed to you in cash terms before you are committed in any way.
  5. After getting to know both you and your finances, we will prepare full written recommendations which will state in detail exactly what you should do with your pension and provide the documentation to facilitate this.
  6. Once you have approved the recommendations, we will implement the transfers for and communicate with the pension providers on your behalf.
  7. Importantly, we provide a structured ongoing review service as a matter of course. This will ensure that your pensions remain on target to help you achieve your retirement goals.
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