At last! Safeguarded Rights are now only a distant memory in the world of pensions. This badly thought out and inappropriately named type of pension fund is now to be brought in line with the rest of Contracted Out pensions funds.

The Pensions Act 2008 (Abolition of Safeguarded Rights) (Consequential) Order 2009 (SI 2009/598) removes references in pensions secondary legislation to safeguarded rights – eleven SIs in total are modified. Safeguarded rights arise when a member’s rights in an occupational or personal pension scheme which is contracted-out of the state second pension are shared on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership. PA 2008 s.100 and the related repeals in Schedule 11 Part 2 abolish safeguarded rights altogether with effect from 6 April 2009. From that date, shared rights that derive from contracted-out rights will be treated in the same way as other shared rights.

And the best news is that if you are a policy holder who owned a Safeguarded Rights fund or were about to receive such a pension fund through your divorce then you are now able to take 25% of the fund as a tax free cash lump sum. This is subject to the normal rules surrounding all pension such has a earliest retirement age of 50.

Call me now if you want to discuss your Safeguarded Rights in more detail.