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The Devil in the detail Guide to British Pensions

A free independent guide from Pension to Canada

Contents 

Guaranteed Annuity Rates

With Profits Funds

Market Value Reductions

Enhanced Tax Free Cash

Contract Charges

About the Guide

There are two types of Pension you may have in the UK: 1.

Defined Benefit,

also known as Final Salary


Defined Contribution

also known as Money Purchase.

This guide focuses on Money Purchase and the importance of getting good advice from an advisor who understands UK Pensions. Pension to Canada have advisors based in the UK who have the highest level of UK pension qualification and understand the current (and fast changing) pension rules. Contact us for a free consultation to understand your personal circumstances and options.

Guaranteed Annuity Rates Can give you a bigger income

Guarantee Annuity James’Rates British

State Pension

A guaranteed annuity rate is the minimum income that the pension scheme holder must offer you as an annuity, (an annuity is an income for life) when you retire, so you have a minimum income guaranteed. These are often more generous than the annuity rates you could get at the moment, typically an annuity rate in excess of 10%. If you are lucky enough to have one of these GAR benefits on a pension scheme it becomes an important consideration when deciding on how to maximize your British retirement benefits. Guaranteed Annuity rates are rarely offered in today’s pension schemes but were quite common in pension schemes written in the 1960’s through to the mid 1980’s. When you come to retire, if typical annuity rates are better than your GAR is offering you, then you still have the option to shop around anyway, so you can’t lose.

Income (%)

Guaranteed Annuity Rates

10 9 8

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Guaranteed Annuity Rate Sample Current Annuity Rate

With Profit Funds With-profits funds are a type of investment offered by many British Pension providers. The money you put into the With Profits Fund is pooled with other investors' money and invested in a mixture of shares, bonds, property and cash. If the investment performs well, you should get an annual bonus each year, as well as a 'terminal' bonus when your policy comes to an end. What makes with-profits investments unique is the 'smoothing' process, whereby some of the return from the investments in the fund is kept back in the years when the fund does well and used to pay you more than the underlying return on the funds in years when it does badly.

Market value reductions (MVRs) If you try to cash in your with-profits investment before maturity, you're likely to be hit with a market value reduction (MVR), also known as a Market Value Adjustment (MVA). An MVR is applied by some providers, particularly in times of weak fund performance, to ensure you don't leave with more than your fair share. MVRs of as much as 18% are not uncommon. The good news for some is that many with-profits policies include an MVR-free date, often at the 10-year mark. This is a day when you can escape from the policy without paying a penalty. If you have a with-profits policy, it's worth checking your MVR-free date, if you have one. Research from Skandia shows that around £13bn of new withprofits bond business was written in 2000, with a further £15bn in 2001, meaning many policies are now coming up to an MVR -free day. In contrast, 2003 to 2008 saw less than £3bn in annual sales. Because returns over the years are smoothed, it's difficult for the investor to calculate the fees they're being charged, and to discover whether returns are being held back because of smoothing or are being deducted in charges. Pension to Canada has UK Expert advisors, based in the UK with advanced qualifications. Contact us to understand if your British pension plans could have Market Value Reductions.

James’ British State Pension

With Profit Inve What you see is

A Market Value Reduction may be applied if you wishd to transfer at any point where the Actual return is below the blue line.

estments s not what you get!

Enhanced Tax Free Cash Can give you more than 25% as a lump sum

Before April 2006 it was possible to have a tax-free cash entitlement of more than 25% through a company or occupational scheme pension scheme known as an ‘Executive Pension Plan (EPP)’ or a ‘Contracted In (or out) Money Purchase (CIMP or COMP)’ The % of your pension plan that is available to take as tax-free cash depends on your length of service, the date you joined your pension plan, your salary details in the years up to April 2006 and any other pension entitlements you have from the same company. Pension to Canada have advisors based in the UK who have the highest level of UK pension qualification and understand the current (and fast changing) pension rules. Contact us to understand if any of your British Plans may have ‘enhanced’ cash benefits

Contract Charges Impact your transferrable pension and your projected UK pension

Pension plan contract charges are specific to the pension plan offered by the insurance company or pension provider. Charged can come in many forms including: 

Unit charges: Initial These apply different rates of charges to different Units and Accumulation contributions typically ‘initial units’ will apply to Units earlier years and will suffer higher charges than later ‘accumulation units’

Transfer Penalties

Reduce the amount of your fund transfer


Can enhance your pension fund at times

Bid-Offer Spread

A type of initial charge

Annual Management Charges

Typically defined as a % and may include investment fees in a range of the insurance company or pension provider’s own funds

Administration Charges Can be monthly and expressed as a percentage of fixed amount

available for predefined

Does your advisor understand the nuances of British Pensions? Pension to Canada always have a UK-based expert advisor look at the fine print in your pension plan contracts to ensure you can make an informed choice before you transfer any British Pension Plan to Canada Contact us to see how we can help you today!

What you should be doing now for your personal planning (by age) Under 60s Request Free British State Pension Forecast Ensure HMRC has your correct information Explore moving other British Pension Plan(s) to Canada Assess your overall retirement provisions with a Financial Planner

Approaching Retirement 60+ (Women) 65 (Men)

Contact British Government International Pension Centre

to arrange payment of your British State Pension

Explore moving other British Pension Plan(s) to Canada

Over 65s If you are not already receiving your British State Pension Contact the British Government International Pension Centre to arrange payment of your British State Pension

Campaign for increases to your British State Pension

Pension to Canada e: t: 1-800-670-8172 w: Legal disclaimer The information contained within this document is of a general nature and cannot be relied upon as, nor be a substitute for professional advice. The benefits and information vary according to residency and domicile. No liability will or can be accepted fro any consequences arising from any transactions embarked upon in connection with this information. Nor is the information contained in this document a solicitation to enter into such an arrangement, or does it constitute investment or financial advice. Pension and investment rules can be complex and you should always seek professional advice before entering into any such agreement.


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