Safeguards to protect pension benefits

Transfers from defined benefit schemes to defined contribution schemes will continue to be allowed (but will exclude pensions that are already in payment). However, transfers from defined benefit schemes to defined contribution schemes will be restricted for members of unfunded public sector schemes, although you may be allowed to transfer in very limited circumstances.

 

There will also be some safeguards put in place to help ensure that members and their pension benefits are protected.

These include:

Taking advice from a regulated adviser before transferring from a defined benefit schemes, unless the pot is under £30,000. Advice will have to be paid for. But, if the transfer is to a connected employer scheme, or it is an incentivised transfer, the employer will pay; and Scheme Trustees will be given guidance on how to protect their schemes funding position from the impact of transfers out

Guaranteed guidance

Another new part of the changes includes access to guaranteed guidance. All individuals who have a defined contribution pension scheme will have access to high-quality, impartial and free guidance on their approach to retirement. This new guidance guarantee will offer quality, structured help with decision-making.

Minimum pension age increased to 57

The normal minimum pension age (the earliest age a member can normally access their pension pot) will increase from age 55 to age 57 in 2028. It will increase at the same rate as the increase in the State Pension age from then on. This means that the minimum pension age will remain ten years below State Pension age.

The change will apply to all pension schemes, with the exception of those in the public sector, that do not link their normal pension age to State Pension age from 2015. This includes fire fighters, police and armed forces.