PENSIONS PROFILE MARCH It is possible to transfer from one arrangement to another and retain the right to:

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1 PENSIONS PROFILE MARCH 2014 BLOCK TRANSFERS. This is not a consumer advertisement. It is intended for professional financial advisers and should not be relied upon by private customers or any other persons. Summary It is possible to transfer from one arrangement to another and retain the right to: 1. Tax-free cash of more than 25% 2. Early minimum retirement age To retain these entitlements the transfer must be conducted as a block transfer. When transferring from a trust based scheme the transfer must be on wind-up by the trustees, whereas for a contract-based scheme it is necessary for at least two members to buddy-up.. Individuals who had not registered for primary or enhanced protection and prior to A-Day had an entitlement to a lump sum of more than 25% and/or had the right to take their benefits before the minimum pension age (now 55) can retain that entitlement under the existing scheme. However, that right can be jeopardised on transfer to another scheme unless it is conducted as part of a block transfer or as part of the winding up of a scheme. In this document we shall set out the HMRC definition of a block transfer and also take a look at protecting entitlements on a scheme wind-up. ANY QUESTIONS? If you have any questions or comments in relation to this article, please

2 Block transfer The HMRC definition as set out in its Newsletter no.10 A block transfer is a transfer in a single transaction of all the sums and assets held for the purposes of (or representing accrued rights under) the arrangements under the pension scheme from which the transfer is made. It must relate to the member in question and at least one other member of that pension scheme. In addition before the transfer it is a requirement that either the member was not a member of the pension scheme to which the transfer is made, or they have been a member of that pension scheme for no longer than one year. For those individuals who in the scheme have a right to take their pension before normal retirement age or have an entitlement to a lump sum exceeding 25%, this entitlement will be lost after A-Day if they transfer their rights to another scheme other than via a block transfer. So for example where an individual transfers their rights from Scheme A to Scheme B and they were the only member to transfer their rights to Scheme B at that point in time, then this would not constitute a block transfer and any entitlement above would be lost. This would be regardless of whether or not other members of Scheme A were at the same time transferring their rights to another scheme, Scheme C or whether Scheme A was in wind-up. The only exception to the individual losing their entitlement unless the transfer is a block transfer will be if an existing occupational pension scheme that becomes a registered pension scheme on 5 April 2006 winds up. HMRC has clarified that it is not necessary that all of the sums and assets are all physically passed from the transferring scheme to the receiving scheme on the same day - there may be legal or administration reasons why this is not possible. However they should all be transferred in relation to the agreement to transfer and within a reasonable timescale. Where the block transfer conditions are met, further block transfers can be made without affecting the member s tax-free cash entitlement. Scheme wind-up The Pension Schemes (Transfers, Reorganisations and Winding Up) (Transitional Provisions) Order 2006 extends the protection of lump sum rights and minimum retirement age when benefits are transferred as part of a scheme wind up. The type of arrangement that an individual is a member of prior to A-Day dictates whether the right to protection will be retained. The individual must be a member of a pension scheme which was: 1. An occupational pension scheme approved under Chapter 1 of Part 14 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act A former approved superannuation fund. 3. A relevant statutory scheme. 4. An annuity contract by means of which benefits provided under 1, 2 & 3 have been secured for example a S32. Further conditions also apply.

3 If the scheme commenced to wind-up prior to A-Day, the member must have had the right to a protected minimum retirement age or more than 25% of the fund as a tax-free cash sum. If the scheme commenced winding up after A-Day the individual with the protected status must have had that right under the scheme prior to the commencing of the winding up. Conditions also apply to the type of arrangement to which the wind-up may be paid into: 1. The rights of the member are discharged by purchasing one annuity such as a S The contract does not allow any unauthorised member payments. 3. The contract does not provide for immediate payment of benefits. These regulations provide the opportunity for the wind up of a one-man scheme and even a S32 that was in place prior to A-Day. As the scheme is winding up, this protects the right to a tax-free cash sum in excess of 25% and a minimum retirement age. Further regulations were issued in 2010: The Pensions Schemes (Transfers, Reorganisations and Winding Up)(Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Order This amendment permits S32 arrangements that are established post A-Day to be wound up to a new S32 and the right to protected tax-free cash to be retained. These regulations also permitted schemes which assigned benefits to the member post A-Day to retain their protected tax-free cash entitlement. What type of scheme can trustees buy-out benefit to? On the wind-up of an employer sponsored pension scheme the trustees can buy-out the members benefits into deferred annuity contracts (i.e. section 32 arrangements). Although, post A-Day, section 32 contracts are individual registered schemes in their own right this does not prevent the trustee buy-out meeting the requirements of a block transfer. It is not possible for trustees to buy-out benefits on a wind-up to a personal pension or stakeholder arrangement. Individuals must consent to a transfer to a personal pension or stakeholder arrangement. As mentioned earlier, HMRC has extended the definition of a block transfer to one-man arrangements such as a one-man EPP and also section 32 contracts. The block transfer is conducted as a trustee wind-up to a deferred annuity contract. The winding up regulations also offer the opportunity for an individual to transfer to a different S32 than the one which the trustees have chosen. This is possible only if the trustees agree to pay to a different S32 than the default S32. For example, the trustees of the Widget company pension scheme (which was a registered pension scheme on 5 April 2006) have decided to wind up their money purchase occupational pension scheme and buy-out the benefits with Provider A. The members of the scheme are informed of this and are also given the option to transfer their benefits to an alternative arrangement. Andrew has decided that he would prefer to transfer his benefits to Provider B (a S32) as it offers more options on retirement. Andrew requests the trustees to buy-out his benefits to Provider B and the trustees are happy to arrange this. As the transfer is arranged by the trustees whilst the scheme is winding up he has the right to keep his protected status (in Andrew s case this means retaining his right to a higher tax-free cash sum). It is important to distinguish between a transfer instigated by trustees deciding to winding up the scheme with an individual choosing to transfer in other circumstances.

4 What type of scheme can an individual choose to transfer to and retain their protected tax-free cash and early retirement age? Those individuals wishing to retain their protected status on transfer can do so by buddying up with one or more members of the existing scheme. To complete the block transfer they must move from the same scheme at the same time to the same receiving scheme. In addition, before the transfer it is a requirement that none of the individuals were a member of the receiving pension scheme, or have been a member of that pension scheme for longer than one year. The transfer cannot be made to a deferred annuity as each such arrangement will be deemed a scheme in its own right. It will only be possible to arrange a block transfer to a personal pension or stakeholder scheme or another employer sponsored pension scheme. Issues to consider It is important to check that the receiving scheme is in a position to receive a block transfer, not all schemes will. Some occupational pension schemes offer the option of assigning the benefits across to the member rather than a transfer. The assignment may be considered if the scheme imposes a penalty on transfer. The assignment of benefits to the individual does now protect the entitlement to tax-free cash of more than 25%, or the early retirement age. This is good news for many members of EPPs where benefits have been assigned to members post A-Day. Transfers to schemes that already have protection Protected tax-free cash Where the receiving scheme currently provides for the protection of a tax-free lump sum exceeding 25% it is not possible for a transfer to be made to that scheme which has a protected tax-free cash sum exceeding 25%. Scheme protection of lump sum rights can only be given to one tranche of protected lump sum for an individual. In order to avoid such complications a block transfer of protected tax-free cash should not be made to a scheme that already provides the individual with protection of a lump sum exceeding 25%. Protected retirement Where an individual is a member of a scheme with a protected retirement age it is possible for that scheme to receive a transfer and retain the protected retirement age status. So long as a member takes all the benefits from the scheme at the same time they will continue to benefit from a low retirement age for all their benefits (including transfers in) under that scheme. In respect of occupational pension schemes it is a condition that the individual cannot be employed by the sponsoring employer.

5 How to complete a transfer and retain the transitional protection This document is based on Legal & General s current understanding of tax law, HMRC practice and legislation which may change. It should not be considered a definitive statement in law. Legal & General Assurance Society Limited Registered in England and Wales No Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority Registered office: One Coleman Street London EC2R 5AA. PP03/14 Non ASD

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