Leaving or changing employer
If you are leaving or changing your employer and thinking about what to do with your company pension plan, we’ll be happy to help. Please be sure you understand all your options, and the effect of any changes you make. There are a few things you should think about before you make any decisions.
If you have any questions once you’ve read this summary, or need any help understanding your options, either speak to your HR department or call us on 0808 234 3030, or +44 178 644 8844 if you’re calling from abroad.
How a company pension plan works
There’s a variety of pension plans available. They’re designed to provide a tax-efficient way of helping you to build up a pension pot to provide for your retirement.
Payments might be made into your plan by you, your employer, or a combination of both of you. Pension plans offer tax relief on your payments, subject to certain limits.
Your money will be invested in funds looked after by fund managers, who try to achieve the best returns possible. Any growth in your plan will be largely tax-free too. A charge is taken for managing your plan. Details of your fund choices and charges can be found in your annual statement. If you don’t have your annual statement or you’ve lost it, you can request a new one. Just call us.
In most cases, when you take your benefits, you can take up to 25% of your plan tax-free and the remainder will be taxable.
Tax rules are complex and require careful consideration and the impact will depend on your individual circumstances. Taxation, legislation and HM Revenue & Customs practice is liable to change without notice. You may want to seek advice.
Your options will vary, depending on your plan and the choices you’ve made so far. We’ll explain them further when you get in touch.
When you leave or change your employer, there are different things you may be able to do. For example:
You may be able to join your new employer’s company pension plan. You should speak to your new employer about your options.
You may be able to continue paying into your existing plan. You won’t benefit from employer’s payments, but you may still get tax relief on your payments, and you’ll maintain the benefits you already have.
You may be able to transfer your existing plan to your new employer’s plan or another registered pension scheme.
If you’re over the age of 55, you could think about taking your benefits.
Things to consider before making your decision
There are a few things you should think about before you make any decisions:
- Any guarantees, benefits and options with your existing plan will change and affect the benefits you receive.
- Stopping your payments could mean the amount available when you decide to take your benefits may be lower than you expected.
- If you stop making payments, any additional benefits like life cover could be reduced or cancelled.
- If you leave your plan where it is, charges for managing it will continue until you take your benefits or transfer elsewhere.
Your plan will continue to be invested in the funds you’ve chosen, unless you choose to change them.
Remember, the value of your investment could go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount that you put in.
Protecting yourself from pension scams
According to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and internet crime reporting centre, an estimated £1.2bn is lost to scams every year. So if you’re thinking of reinvesting the money from your plan, take a minute to find out more, and stay ahead of the scammers. There is also some very useful information available from The Pensions Regulator.
What to do now
Transferring your pension is a big decision. You should speak with a financial adviser first. If you don’t have one, you can get details of financial advisers on pru.co.uk and selecting ‘contact a financial adviser’. You may be charged for their services.
If you have any questions or need more help understanding your options, you can either speak to your HR department, or give us a call on 0808 234 3030 or +44 178 644 8844 if you’re calling from abroad. We can’t give you advice or make your decision for you, but we’ll be happy to help you understand your plan and talk you through all your available options and their possible implications.
We’re here 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday and happy to help in any way we can. Please make sure you have your plan number to hand when you call.