What you should expect from financial advisers who have adopted the Pension Transfer Gold Standard
The Pensions Advice Taskforce, a representative industry body set up by the Personal Finance Society*, has established a voluntary code of good conduct for Safeguarded and Defined Benefit Pension Transfers advice - the "Gold Standard".
Financial advice firms who adopt and promote this standard adhere to a set of principles. As a result you can be confident that you are dealing with an ethical adviser and professional advice firm that has your best interests at heart when receiving financial advice in relation to whether or not you should transfer your pension.
Financial advice is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that already requires firms to adhere to some ‘core principles’, two of which are especially significant when it comes to complex pensions advice like pension transfers.
If you are dealing with a financial advice firms adopting the Pension Transfer Gold Standard, you can expect they will exceed these requirements in their dealings with you. Specifically, they will…
You should be aware of guidance from the FCA that when giving advice in this area a financial adviser should start with the assumption that a transfer will be unsuitable due to the value of guaranteed benefits to be given up in the event of a transfer. As such, the advice you receive may be to do nothing and leave your benefits where they are.
Pension transfers can be complicated and there are lots of things to think about before going ahead. Seeking professional financial advice will help to ensure youare better able to make a fully informed decision that is in your best interests.
It is for that reason that the Government has made it a legal requirement to seek financial advice before you can transfer, if you have what’s called ‘safeguarded benefits’ – in particular if you are in a defined benefit pension scheme or have a guaranteed annuity rate – and your benefits are worth £30,000 or more.
This rule is there for your protection to make sure you are aware of all the pros and cons of transferring. The Pension Transfer Gold Standard is designed tohelp you recognise and find firms that will give advice that adheres to high professional standards.
Adopters will display the Pension Transfer Gold Standard ‘badge’ and can be found by searching the Money Advice Service directory at directory.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
Further information is available via thepfs.org/ptgsconsumer