If you’re one of the lucky but falling number of people who have final salary/defined benefits you may have been following the rules regarding transferring out of these schemes. Not only are there changes to the way you receive and pay for advice, but now the trustees are being given the powers to block these transfers out.
You might be wondering how the trustees say ‘no’ when they’re your benefits. Well apart from ensuring that you have received proper advice, the trustees are expected to conduct proper due diligence on the scheme which you intend to transfer your benefits to. In some cases, the trustees may have reason to believe that the receiving scheme is not a legitimate one and in these cases they will need to carefully consider whether to allow the transfer to proceed. This may happen if the proposed new scheme presents the warning signs of a pension scam.
If they do this, they may be stopping you transferring to a plan where you might lose a significant proportion, or in some cases, all of your pension savings and be faced with a large tax bill. If the trustees are conducting further investigations, they should contact you to explain why there is a delay and why they are not permitting the transfer to proceed.