The answer is Yes you can, although whether that will be the best advice for you will depend on many factors. Of course, pensions freedom, mentioned earlier, will provide greater access to your pension fund than a final salary pension scheme (also referred to as a Defined Benefit Scheme - DBS) ever can, but whereas a final salary pension scheme will provide guaranteed benefits, the return from all other pensions which are not final salary pension schemes, depends on the performance of the underlying investments.
In many cases, but not all, the guarantees offered on your final salary pension scheme may outweigh the benefits provided from transferring your pension benefits out of your final salary scheme. We are unable to advise you directly on the final salary pension scheme transfers as this is a highly specialist area of advice covered by specific permissions from the FCA. We will require an independent assessment to be carried out by an FCA regulated pension transfer specialist who will conduct the assessment in accordance with FCA guidelines to determine whether or not a transfer away from your final salary scheme is appropriate in your particular case.
Yes, it is possible to bring together all of your existing pension arrangements (except for state benefits) and hold them together in one QROPS. This will simplify your pension arrangements and allow you to draw retirement income from just one source. Any requests to transfer final salary pension schemes will be subject to an independent assessment by an FCA regulated pension transfer specialist who will conduct an assessment as outlined above.
Yes, if we agree that QROPS is not the most suitable vehicle for your pension funds then you may consolidate all of your existing UK pension funds into one scheme within the UK. Any requests to transfer final salary pension schemes will be subject to an independent assessment by an FCA regulated pension transfer specialist who will conduct an assessment as outlined above.
New rules mean that if you die after the age of 75 your beneficiaries could pay tax of up to 45% before receiving the remainder of your fund. If you move your pension fund to a QROPS then after ten complete tax years outside of the UK this rule will no longer apply and your chosen beneficiaries can receive all of your remaining fund without suffering this UK tax liability.
Successive UK governments have reduced the lifetime allowance which now stands at £1,073,100 (any fund amount over this figure is subject to a penalty tax). If you move your fund to a QROPS this penalty charge will no longer apply. This could be of major benefit to anyone whose fund is close to the £1,073,100 threshold.