Transferring benefits 

You may be able to transfer your benefits to another pension scheme if the new scheme is one approved by HMRC is willing to accept the transfer. There are no costs involved when transferring your benefits to a new pension provider. We can only transfer deferred benefits. If you are currently active in the scheme and wish to transfer your benefits to a different scheme, you will need to opt out. If you are currently a pensioner or are within 12 months of your Normal Retirement Age, you do not have the option to transfer your pension. 

Start the transfer process 

If you are a deferred member and are not within 12 months of your Normal Retirement Age, you can start the transfer out process by logging into My Pension Online. If you are transferring your pension to a new workplace pension, please do this once you have received your joining information from your new fund. 

  1. You can complete the first stage of the process easily online and see the value of the benefits you hold with us.  Log on to the online service at www.lpf.org.uk/online and navigate to the CETV section within the dashboard. Follow the instructions onscreen and provide the details of the scheme you wish to transfer to.  

    Alternatively, you can ask your new pension provider to start the process and they will request a transfer value direct from us if they can accept the transfer.   

  2. We will carry out checks to ensure the new provider to minimise   the risks posed by pensions scams.  

  3. Once complete, LPF will send your new provider and you a transfer value and the appropriate discharge forms within 30 days of the request, if we have all the information, we need to do the calculation.  The quote will be guaranteed for three months from the date of issue. 

  4. Your new pension fund will contact you once they receive the quote to let you know the amount of pension this amount will buy in their scheme. 

  5. If you decide that you want to go ahead with the transfer you will need to provide LPF with your completed discharge forms and let your new pension provider know that you wish to proceed. They will then ask us to pay the cash equivalent transfer value to them. 

  6. Once the transfer is complete you will no longer have any pension rights with Lothian Pension Fund. 

The transfer process can take up some time to complete if we need to contact your employer about information provided or we are experiencing exceptional workloads.  We will keep you informed of the progress if this happens.  

Getting financial advice

Deciding to transfer your benefits is an important decision. You may wish to take independent financial advice, but for transfers over £30,000 will need to obtain independent, impartial financial advice before being able to transfer if the transfer is going to a scheme that is not a member of the public sector transfer club. You can find details on independent financial advice on Unbiased.co.uk, but make sure they understand the LGPS.

 

 

Beware of pension scams

Should you decide to transfer your benefits, you should be aware of potential pension scams. Educating yourself and remaining vigilant are key to minimising the risk posed by pensions scams. Listed here is a summary of the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) four key steps to protect your pension:

  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4

Step 1 – Reject unexpected offers

Scammers are often unknown contacts who will attempt to gain your trust through false claims. They will likely claim to be authorised by the FCA and will present you with unsolicited, attractive investment opportunities in an attempt to gain control of your pension pot. In other circumstance the money may be stolen outright. If an offer seems too good to be true, it likely is just that.

Step 2 – Check who you're dealing with

Remember that it isn’t usually possible to cash in your pension before the age of 55, except in cases of ill-health or where you have a protected retirement age that is below 55. Equally, you should be wary of offers for “free” pension reviews, “guaranteed” returns on pension investments or complicated, long term investments plans. FCA regulated advisors would never offer such services and opportunities. If you’re concerned about a potential scam you should report your suspicions to Action Fraud or the Financial Conduct Authority.

Step 3 – Don't be rushed or pressured

High pressure sales tactics are a common sign of a pensions scam. You should be wary of time limited offers to get the “best deal”. Be wary of promised returns that sound too good to be true and don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision.

Step 4 – Get impartial information or advice

If you are deciding to transfer your benefits, consider consultation with the Pensions Advisory Service or an FCA regulated advisor before doing so. Those over 50 with a defined contribution pension, should consider booking an appointment with Pension Wise.

My Pension Online