Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We help adviser firms who have Occupational Pension Transfer (OPT) permissions and are happy processing cases but would like paraplanning and technical support. Your firm will deal with the client meetings, but we will do the data gathering, produce the report, meet the compliance requirements etc. The case will be processed under your authorisation.

In accord with the policy statement issued on 26th March 2018, the recommendation must be agreed with the pension transfer specialist (HDC), before it is presented to the client. This means that if we feel the transfer is not in the best interests of the client, we cannot prepare a recommendation to transfer.

Note:  Transfers must not be processed until the advice has been agreed and the suitability report prepared and presented, irrespective of whether that means you may miss the guarantee deadline.


We can work on a case with an expired Transfer Value, within the last year. Please note, we do not automatically request a new CETV quote, as a fee may be incurred by the client.

TVAS Only:

£500.00

Combined Suitability Report:

£1,500.00 for one scheme/plan + £1,000.00 for any additional scheme/plan 

Please note that if after purchasing a TVAS, you decide to go to a Suitability Report (within 6 months), the fee will be £1,200, in addition to the £500 paid for the original TVAS.

This is because we will need to start the process again and go back to the scheme for further information. Additionally, in this scenario it's exceedingly likely that the deadline will be very close, which puts us both under extra pressure. Alternatively, if the deadline is missed the client may be required to pay a fee for a new transfer value.

 If we receive the request to convert to the full service after more than six months, the full £1,500 fee will apply.

Revised TVAS if transfer value changes

We charge £50 to prepare a revised TVAS based on a differing transfer value, if requested within six months of completion of the original suitability report.

If the new TVAS is requested over six months later the full £500 fee will apply.

The timescales for a case will vary depending on how long the scheme administrators take to respond to our requests for information. Once we do hold all the information necessary from the scheme, it takes approximately one week for this to be reviewed to assess accuracy of the scheme record.

If at this stage, no further information is required from yourselves regarding the client or any further details regarding the scheme is require, we expect to compose and proof read the Suitability Report within 5 working days.

These are all estimates, some cases will be much quicker, and unfortunately others can take months. This is generally outside of our control.

We generally suggest that in order to best manage client expectations, that a time-frame of anywhere between 3-6 months from instruction to transfer completion.

There are no limits or minimums at all, the business is transacted under your firm's authorisation and so, as long your compliance team are happy with it, we can accept the case.  Irrespective of the size of the transfer value, 

Our fees are fixed fees and will not be reduced under any circumstances.  


Pre-Retirement
This is where the client is looking to transfer their benefits to a new plan, with no intention of drawing benefits in the near future (next 12 month to 24 months).

At Retirement
This type of case is where the client wants a transfer, in order to draw benefits within the next 12 months (Tax Free Cash, Pension Income or both).

Where we have a "at retirement" case involving a Defined Benefit scheme, and the member is taking benefits before the normal retirement age, the FCA require the retirement report to include a TVAS. However, if the client is within 12 months of the normal retirement age and the scheme do no allow late retirement, we are unable to produce a TVAS. In this situation we can compose a report comparing the immediate benefits from the scheme against the open market. 

This is a wording we incorporate in the Suitability Report, justifying the choice of New Provider and why it is the most appropriate for your client. We ask you to provide this, so that it is consistent with your other recommendations.

Essentially, it needs to summarise why you have chosen that particular Provider over all of the others i.e. customer service, low charges etc. Most providers can supply you with a standard wording.

The standard wording needs to be supplemented with specific reasons why that particular prior provider is the most suitable for the client. This needs to be linked to their circumstances, needs and objectives.

For further information, please see the guide entitled "reason why provider"  these can be accessed via the document library on this website.

We will use the wording in the Suitability Report 

By this term, we mean any persons authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, with the additional permissions enabling them to undertake pension transfers.

The text and documentation on our website, as well as the services we offer, are only for those firms.

No, we are not a financial adviser.

Nothing!

You must not undertake the transfer before the suitability report has been prepared and presented to the client.

Defined benefit pension schemes are required to provide one Transfer Value for free every 12 months under Disclosure Regulations. This means that when a Transfer Value deadline expires, the scheme can charge a fee for providing a new guaranteed Transfer Value.

We generally recommend that the Suitability Report incorporating the Transfer Analysis Report, where relevant, is completed based on that Transfer Value. If a new Transfer Value will be available without cost, we will obtain that and prepare the Suitability Report, based on that new figure.

If the recommendation is to proceed with a transfer, the next step would be for you to submit the application and discharge forms. When the discharge forms are submitted to the new provider, they will countersign them and send them onto the ceding scheme. On receipt, the ceding scheme will be required to recalculate the Transfer Value, if the guarantee deadline has expired. As this is essential, many schemes do not impose the requirement for the member to pay the actuarial fee to recalculate the Transfer Value. In other words, this may save the client paying the fee.

As you will be dealing with the transfer, you will receive information from the scheme in this respect and need to explain it to your client.

If the scheme does not impose a fee, they will simply recalculate the Transfer Value. If that Transfer Value is higher than the original figure, they will usually proceed to make the payment without further delay. Sometimes, if the Transfer Value is less than 10% lower, they will also proceed with the transfer.

If the revised Transfer Value is lower, the scheme will generally ask the client to confirm whether they still wish to proceed. That almost certainly involve additional discharge forms. 

If the final Transfer Value does alter your compliance officer may require you to provide a revised illustration in relation to the new plan to the client. If you require, we will prepare a revised Transfer Value Analysis Report based on the new Transfer Value.  We charge £50 for this service.  In this scenario, we would suggest a short follow-up letter is issued with the illustration confirming the change in Transfer Value and referring to the revised TVAS. It is our understanding that there is no necessity to prepare a revised Suitability Report.

No, preferably not

Ideally, we would submit the letter of authority and request the transfer pack simultaneously, thereby giving us the full 3 month window in order to carry out a full analysis of the client's options. 

However, if you already have a guaranteed transfer value, please send this to us along with the new case documents. It is important to appreciate, that the transfer pack does not include sufficient information in order to prepare a TVAS and that in this situation it is much more likely that we will miss the guarantee deadline.

As a general rule, yes. However we can look at Defined Contribution Schemes but only if they contain safeguarded benefits (such as Guaranteed Minimum Pension). 

We can also look at Deferred Annuities and Section 32 plans if they include safeguarded benefits. 

No, as long as the Transfer Value represents the actuarial cost of the benefits.  

However, if the value has been enhanced, Fixed Protection would be lost!

As you hold permission, it is entirely up to your compliance officer, as we are only providing technical assistance and not advice.

We are not a financial adviser, we provide pension transfer specialist support, incorporating data gathering and TVAS, together with draft suitability reports.


This varies enormously, as does the standard of the information schemes actually provide.

Normally an initial response should be received within 2-3 weeks. We do frequently come across schemes that quote much longer timescales. This will be due to a combination of workload and staffing. It will also be impacted on by the fee agreement between the scheme administrator and the trustees.

It is important to appreciate that a scheme is allowed to take up to 3 months to produce a CETV therefore meaning if they respond one day before the three month period, that is adequate.

We do ask for confirmation of the timescales at outset 

Once information has been received via email or post, it is scanned onto the record and then will take up to two days to extract.

You will be provided with a weekly update.

Unfortunately not.

We need to assess the client's circumstances, along with the scheme design and benefits the client has, before we can assess the viability of a transfer.

If a scheme provides more than one period of service and multiple Transfer Values, we would need to prepare individual Transfer Analysis Reports. Therefore, a fee of £1,500 would apply to the first period and subsequent periods would be charged at £1,000

We do not prepare linked cases and therefore, each client would be charged £1,500 for one scheme and any subsequent schemes would cost £1,000 for each party.

If we have had the case from the beginning, before the Transfer Value was obtained and a scheme is taking an exceptionally long time to provide information, we can argue the case. However, if a case is provided to us and there is only one month left of the guarantee date for example, we are unable to argue that the scheme has been unreasonable in relation to their timescales.

If the deadline is within the next month, when requesting 

The TVAS does project investment growth at 2%, 5% and 8%, but there is no inflation built in.

This differs from the illustrations you will see from the providers, even though both sets of assumptions are prescribed by the regulator. 

This is because the TVAS is attempting to show the cost to provide benefits to match those estimated from the scheme.  This assists in evaluating the transfer value.

The illustration has been adjusted to allow for the impact of inflation, so that the retail client can assess the potential benefits from their plan in today's terms.