How Does Pension Cash Release for Local Authority Pensions Work?
You are probably aware of the new pension flexibility rules that were introduced in last year’s Budget and are now in force. These rules allow you not only to take the Tax Free Cash from your Local Authority pension but also additional cash if you need to. You should also be aware that if you take any additional cash from your pension over and above the tax free amount will be taxed.
Provided you are aged 55 or over, not an active member of the scheme and not taking an income from the pension you are entitled to access cash from your pension now. There is no need to wait until retirement age.
However, the new pension flexibility rules only apply to personal and defined contribution pension schemes. Local Authority schemes in the main are defined benefit schemes and therefore the new rules do not apply to them.
You can only access the cash from your Local Authority Pension Scheme (LGPS) by transferring it into a personal pension. This will allow you to benefit from the new pension flexibility rules as well as releasing the tax free cash straight away. Before you decide to transfer your LGPS there are a number of calculations that need to be done. These calculations take into account the pension you would be giving up by transferring versus the pension you would receive from a personal pension. As we have been dealing with LGPS transfers for a number of years we are best placed to do these calculations for you. These calculations will help you decide whether you wish to transfer your LGPS in order to access the tax free cash and/or release additional cash. Also the organisation should be experienced in handling transfers from the LGPS. We have had many satisfied LGPS members transfer their pension over the last 7 years. Trust us to handle your enquiry.
To transfer your LGPS the following steps are needed:
- Obtain a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) from the Local Authority that you were a member of
- Calculate the pension options and the amount of Tax Free Cash that can be released
- Research the most suitable pension provider to accept the funds from the LGPS
- Communicate your options, advantages and disadvantages of transferring
- If you decide to transfer your cash will be paid by your new pension provider direct into your bank account
Pension Scams – A Word of Warning
Before you start the enquiry process to investigate your cash release options you must ensure the organisation you choose is authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is vital to ensure you have full consumer protection. NEVER use an organisation that is not registered with the FCA. If they are not on the FCA register they are, in all likelihood, scammers and should be avoided at all costs. You can check our credentials on the FCA register here: Register and enter our firm reference number 490166 in the appropriate box.
Start your enquiry by going through the “I am Interested” section. Provided you meet the criteria you will navigate onto our second page which will ask you to complete your personal details and which Local Authority you were working for when you were a member of the LGPS. A “letter of authority” will be generated. This letter gives us permission to request a CETV from your Local Authority in order to calculate how much tax free cash you have available. Send this to us at our Freepost Address – there is no need for a stamp. If you are unable to print off the letter we will send you a copy in the post.
Communicating your Options
Once we have gathered the information on your pension(s) we will inform you how much tax free cash you are able to release, and a comparison on the pension you are giving up from the LGPS versus the pension you are likely to get from a personal pension provider. This is done via email so you obtain your options quickly. If you wish to release your all or part of your tax free cash lump sum we will send you the necessary paperwork.
Accessing your Tax Free Cash
We research the UK pension provider market on your behalf to find the most suitable pension provider has a suitable pension product which will allow you to access your tax free cash without the need to take an immediate pension income that has the most appropriate pension product for your needs. Once the pension provider receives your pension fund from your LGPS they send your tax free cash direct to your nominated bank account.
You are in total control from start to finish. We will inform you how your application is progressing and when you are likely to receive your tax free cash.
Our Charges and Fees
There is no charge for us to investigate, research and communicate to you the amount of tax free cash you are entitled to. It is only if you decide to proceed and release your tax free cash our fee becomes payable. In the vast majority of cases our fee is taken from the remaining pension fund. This means you receive the full amount of your tax free cash from your pension.