The main advantage of a SIPP over most other types of pension is that they normally offer a wider range of investments, giving you greater flexibility over where you invest. Changes in modern career patterns mean that we often accumulate a number of pension schemes during our working life and consolidating them by transferring them to a SIPP could offer the opportunity to manage them more effectively and simply.
Why should you transfer to us?
We pride ourselves on our wealth of experience and our innovative approach to retirement wealth planning. With over 30 years experience in the pension and investment industry, we are trusted by tens of thousands of investors, holding over £24 billion in pension and investment savings.
You can read more about why your information and money are safe with us here.
When to seek financial advice…
You can transfer most pension schemes without receiving financial advice but we do strongly suggest that you talk to a regulated financial adviser prior to transferring a pension. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can find a regulated adviser close to you at unbiased.co.uk or call 0800 023 6868 to obtain a list of financial advisers in your local area.
Please note: If you are transferring a defined benefit (final salary occupational) pension or defined contribution pension, you will need to receive financial advice.
How to transfer a pension to your SIPP with us
Firstly, you should contact your existing provider(s), or, if available, go online to get the current value and details of your pension(s). If you are unsure, you should check with them about any specific terms or guaranteed benefits you might lose and any charges you will incur to transfer. It is very important that you are in possession of all relevant facts before taking any action. If you remain unsure whether to transfer once you have this information, we recommend you talk to a regulated financial adviser. If you decide to transfer, you need to have a SIPP with us.
There are two options for making a transfer in if your SIPP is already open:
1. Transfer online (NEW)
You can now make a transfer using your James Hay Online account. Simply log in and follow the options to transfer in. You can view a guide on how to make a transfer online below.
2. Transfer by Post
You can download and complete the relevant transfer form and send it to us by post. If your existing provider has provided you with any forms, please complete them and send them to us along with the transfer form.
If you do not already have a SIPP with us and wish to set one up, simply click on the link below.
You can read more about the Modular iSIPP, how it works and the benefits on our dedicated page. You should make sure you have read the Terms & Conditions, Key Features, Charges Schedule and Permitted Investments List before applying. Our online application is quick and simple and can be completed using e-Signature. You can confirm the details of any pensions you want to transfer in during the application process.
Can I transfer a defined benefit scheme to a SIPP?
Yes. However, if you have a defined benefit (final salary occupational) pension or defined contribution pension which includes safeguarded benefits, it is a legal requirement that you have received advice from a regulated financial adviser if the value of the scheme is over £30,000. We only accept such transfers on the basis that the financial adviser is recommending as part of their advice that you transfer, regardless of value. We do not accept transfers where you are deemed an ‘insistent client’, which under the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) guidance is where an adviser will transact business for you against their advice, if you insist.
It is important to be aware that in most cases, you’re likely to be worse off transferring from a defined benefit scheme to a defined contribution scheme, like a SIPP, even if you are being offered an incentive to do so. You can read more about transferring a defined benefit scheme on the Money Advice Service website.
The FCA attach significant importance to you understanding the impact of surrendering long term pension rights and emphasise that the financial adviser must evidence that your financial position will be enhanced by transferring.
Your financial adviser will need to:
1. Be regulated by the FCA
2. Have the relevant FCA permission to advise on the transfer of a defined benefit scheme and be giving explicit advice recommending the transfer
3. Complete our Confirmation of advice to transfer pension fund form, which must be submitted it to us in writing on their company letterhead
Can I transfer my pension if I am taking an income?
Yes you can. If you have already begun taking money out of a pension as income, it will not normally prevent the scheme being transferred. It can also usually be transferred in a way that means the income can continue seamlessly without you missing out on a pension payment.
Can I transfer my existing pension scheme investment?
You will likely hear the phrase ‘in-specie’ when arranging to transfer a pension. This is where the investments you hold in your current scheme can be moved from one provider to another without the need to sell them. Essentially, the name of the asset is changed from your existing scheme into the name of your SIPP with us. Most investments can be transferred but some cannot because they are restricted to specific pension schemes, so it is worth checking this with your existing scheme. In addition, our SIPP products have their own range of permitted investments and you will need to check that we are able to accept any investments you want to transfer, or purchase once the SIPP is open.
How long does a transfer take?
It is difficult to give a definitive answer as it varies on a case-by-case basis depending on the transferring company and the complexity of the assets held in the scheme.
You can choose to transfer all or part of your pension scheme(s) in cash. Cash transfers tend to be completed quicker than in-specie cases.
How much does it cost to transfer a pension?
There is no charge for making a cash transfer, however £50 per plan will be charged for any in-specie transfers. These charges are only our fees. Therefore, when transferring a pension, you should request confirmation from your existing pension scheme(s) of their charges and any exit penalties for transferring, so that you can weigh up the total cost to you of transferring.
If you have a SIPP with us that isn’t a Modular iSIPP, visit the literature section within the Existing Investor section from the dropdown menu at the end of the page and download the charges schedule for your product for confirmation of the transfer charges.
Are you aware of Pension Scams?
You need to be aware of pension scams, as there are people who seek to profit financially from recommending that you transfer pensions. The greater flexibility introduced by government has provided an opportunity for criminals to take advantage of investors and you should be particularly wary if anyone is recommending or encouraging you to transfer that you have not known for long and is not a regulated financial adviser. You can read more about pension scams here.