How to Tell if Pension Transfer Advice is Real

Some pension advisors are giving the profession a bad name. Here's how to tell if the pension transfer advice you're getting is sound.

We've all been subjected to snake oil salesmen before. Whether it's unsolicited stock market tips from strangers or magic diet pills that claim too much, we all know to question the source of such 'advice'.

UK Pensioners Get Lots of 'Advice'

It's no different with your pension transfer. As consumers of financial products and as key decision makers, we can all fall into the trap of seeing only what salespeople want us to see: financial security, convenience, and the chance to live a comfortable retirement lifestyle how and where you wish.

That's why it's so important to consider the source of any financial advice you receive. Friends and family mean well, of course, but how about pension transfer businesses that claim to help you make those all-important decisions when it comes to your nest egg?

Consider the Source

Here, more than ever, it's essential to consider the source and do your homework. If you're relying on a company for advice or to help you transfer your pension overseas, it pays to look into the people to whom you're trusting your money.

Case in point: recently, the news is full of stories about the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). The scheme has failed, so British Steel is offering about 43,000 of its workers the option of transferring out of their pensions¹. Others will have the choice of staying in the current scheme, which will soon fall under the wing of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), or moving to a new plan that offers fewer benefits.

For those opting to transfer out, many have chosen to work with companies which, it turns out, are unregulated. The companies are charging fees but they are not authorised to provide advice.

Luckily, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has intervened and put a stop to pension transfer advice operations in four companies so far. They've also issued a set of guidelines on their website that everyone should follow, including British expats looking to transfer their pensions overseas.

Is it Really 'Advice'? Consider These Questions Before You Transfer Overseas

There are some simple red flags to watch out for when you're searching for a company to help you transfer your pension overseas. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Did the company send you an unsolicited phone call or text? Cold calling is not the hallmark of a professional adviser.
  2. Does the new scheme involve unusual investments like biofuels or storage units? Check to see that the new pension scheme is sound.
  3. Is the firm authorised to offer advice on pensions?
  4. Is the firm regulated by a governmental agency?
  5. Does the firm offer gimmicks to entice you to talk with them? Free lunch, which was what was offered to the British Steel employees, is not good enough reason to consider a company for financial advice.

UK Pension Transfer LLC and You

UK Pension Transfer LLC won't let you down in any of those red flag areas. We're registered in the State of Georgia as a licensed Investment Adviser and regulated by the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Uniform Securities Act.

If you're a non-UK resident and seek advice about your UK pension, please call Tim Carroll, president of UK Pension Transfer LLC.

References

  1. Espadinha, Maria. FCA action sees three more firms halt pension transfers. Retrieved 12/18/2017 from FCA action sees three more firms halt pension transfers