Whether you're thinking about transferring pension benefits in or out of the Fund, it is strongly recommended that you take independent financial advice first.
If you are contributing to the Fund, you can transfer benefits in from other approved pension schemes to buy extra membership.
If you joined BTP from a Home Office force, you can apply for a transfer of past benefits under a bilateral transfer agreement. While there is currently no bilateral transfer agreement in place for members of the CARE arrangement, if you are interested in transferring your Home Office pension to BTP, you should register your interest in doing so with Railpen.
Railpen can then issue a transfer quotation once a bilateral transfer agreement is in place. Log into your account or email email@example.com.
If you are still saving into your pension or you have preserved benefits then you can transfer your benefits out of the Fund to another scheme or provider if you wish.
You can transfer your defined benefit pension to a different defined benefit (DB) or defined contribution (DC) arrangement with another provider within the UK or overseas (a QROPS).
For instance, you may have changed employer or moved overseas and want to consolidate all of your pension savings in one place, or you may have opened a private pension.
You can choose to transfer all of your benefits or just any Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs), as long as it’s in line with the rules for your specific Fund section. You can find your Section’s rules on the website once you’ve logged in to your myFund account.
Either way there’s a lot to think about. And from 30 November 2021, regulations were introduced which you need to be aware of if you’re considering transferring.
If you are considering transferring your benefits out of the Fund, you should make sure you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision.
You can request as many of these online estimates as you need to on the website, completely free. You may however need a guaranteed estimate at a later point. You can request this from our Helpline on 0800 0121117 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You are eligible for one free guaranteed estimate per year. If you get financial advice, it is highly likely your adviser will need a guaranteed estimate.
It is really important that you understand your transfer value before you make a decision. The transfer value could provide less than if you left your benefits in the Fund.
Transferring your pension carries significant risks. You should carefully compare the benefits of your current pension with any alternatives before making a decision.
You may want to get some financial advice to help you make a decision. You might also have to do this by law if the value of your DB benefits is more than £30,000 and you are looking to transfer to a Defined Contribution/Personal Pension Arrangement. You can find out more information about help and advice here.
You should also check that:
There are regulations to protect members from scams and transferring out of a scheme when it may not be the best thing for them.
The regulations mean your current scheme provider, Railpen, needs to carry out certain checks. The regulations say that a transfer can only be made if it meets certain conditions and there are no ‘red’ or ‘amber’ flags that haven’t been addressed. Depending on the category of the scheme you want to transfer to, you may need to provide some additional information and evidence that it meets certain conditions.
If the scheme (or provider) you want to transfer to is either:
then we are able to process your transfer out, as long as you have taken the relevant advice and are comfortable it is the right option for you. We have a list of all schemes and providers which meet this criteria and will do this check for you once you’ve made a transfer request.
If your transfer is to an occupational pension, then we will need evidence of an employment link. Certified copies of evidence will be accepted.
An occupational pension is a pension scheme provided by your employer.
We need the following evidence:
If your proposed transfer is overseas to a scheme known as a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS), then we will need evidence of an employment link or residency link to the country you’re transferring to. We also need evidence that you are a tax resident in same country as the scheme you are transferring to.
If you do not have an employment link to the QROPS, you will need to provide:
and at least 2 of the following items. We need these to make sure you have been a tax resident for at least 6 consecutive months before we received your request to transfer.
If you are not sure what a QROPS is, you can find more information here.
Depending on the nature of the scheme you are transferring to and/or the information provided, we may be required to refer you to MoneyHelper for scams guidance.
If you are transferring to an occupational scheme or overseas scheme and do not to provide any evidence at all, it is highly likely we will refuse your transfer. If you provide insufficient evidence, it is highly likely you will be referred to MoneyHelper for further support.
If the scheme you want to transfer to is not an occupational scheme, we will perform several checks on the information you have provided. If there is insufficient evidence to meet the conditions to transfer then we will be unable to proceed with your transfer application and will refuse the transfer. That may include instances where you have been given advice by someone who does not have appropriate permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or if you asked for the transfer after unsolicited contact.
The regulations might seem strict, but they are there to protect you from scams and arrangements that may not be in your best interests. In 2020, the Pensions Regulator reported circa that £30m in pension benefits had been lost to scammers in just 3 years.
Money Helper is a government-approved advice service, providing impartial advice on money and pensions. MoneyHelper brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.
In some circumstances, you may need to speak to MoneyHelper before a transfer can go ahead. You can find out more information here or contact MoneyHelper on 0800 011 3797.
Before you submit a request to transfer, we highly recommend you get an online estimate, and seek financial advice if you need it.
If you still want to make a transfer, you will need to email us at email@example.com or call us on 0800 012 1117.
Step 1 – Once you have made a transfer request by phone or email, we will create a case and issue a quote pack to you within 1 month of receiving your request.
Step 2 – Your quote pack will contain a lot of information, and there will be a lot to fill in. You can find copies of the forms on the Forms page.
You will receive:
Step 3 – Once we receive all of the documents from you, we will assess your request and the information provided in line with the regulations. If the information provided indicates that the scheme meets one of the two conditions, we will process the transfer and arrange payment.
Step 4 – If needed, we will contact you to request further evidence. Once we receive this, we will either process the transfer, request more evidence, refer you to MoneyHelper or refuse the transfer.
All requests will be assessed impartially in line with the regulations. If we believe the transfer request does not satisfy the regulations, we will not action it and will inform you.
You can find out more information about help and advice here.
The Fund's administrator, Railpen, has appointed Liverpool Victoria (LV) to provide advice to all Fund members. LV has a dedicated Fund team and can be contacted now on 0800 023 4187.
You are still free to choose your own Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) if you’re prefer. You can find an IFA in your area at unbiased.co.uk.
Pension scams are a big threat. They are present in the UK and overseas and scammers are always looking at new ways to target you, so always be on your guard.
If you fall victim to a scam, you can quickly lose your entire pension pot and may even face added costs, like a hefty tax bill.
You can find further information on pension scams here.
If you're unsure how to complete the pension scams questionnaire you need to fill out when you ask for a transfer, you can use the guide below.
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