Defined Benefit Pension Advice – Our Approach

Overview

Acumen Financial Planning Ltd holds permission to advise on Pension Transfers and Opt-outs, and as such have a comprehensive procedure for doing so. Due to the specialised nature of this subject, there are several additional requirements of our planning team when considering giving advice in this area, which is detailed below. Acumen Financial Planning will not market or pursue business in this area, nor will we initiate discussions surrounding the transfer of a Defined Benefit scheme unless approached by an existing or prospective client.

Engaging in Business

Set out below are the points the firm will consider in each case concerning the requirements of the proposed business before agreeing to offer this service.

Business Considerations

  • Clients’ total assets under management must be in excess of £250,000
  • Transactional arrangements will not be considered, any advice offered will be part of an ongoing financial planning service

Client Specific Considerations

  • Must be within 3 years of planned access to pension funds
  • Must have other secure income sources for retirement outside of the state pension provision
  • Must demonstrate a minimal dependency on Defined Benefit scheme income in retirement therefor demonstrating a greater capacity for loss
  • Must have a history evidencing competent money management experience
  • Must be prepared to pay any charges for full analysis from a source other than their pension fund

Extenuating Circumstances Considerations

  • Poor health and/or reduced life expectancy
  • Financial hardship
  • Any other circumstances that the Pension Committee deems to have a diminishing impact on the importance of the above points.

Responsibilities of AFP Pension Committee

When a client makes an enquiry with regards to a Defined Benefit Scheme, the circumstances of the individual will be assessed against the above criteria. The Pension Committee must make sure that all the points are satisfied before proceeding to offer an APTA to the client. If there are extenuating circumstances taken into consideration, and the service is offered without all the Business and Client Specific Considerations being met, this must be documented clearly and fully within the Pension Committee meeting minutes in which it was discussed and agreed and the Pensions Register.

The authority to make a final decision to engage in this service in each individual case is held by the Directors, supported in their evaluation by the Pension Committee.

Declining to Proceed

Should the enquiring individual not meet the requirements of the firm and declined on our principles by the Pension Committee or a Planner and Pension Transfer Specialist, a formal communication declining to offer a full Defined Benefit advice service will be sent.

Offering to Proceed

When an individual meets the firm’s requirements, this will be communicated informally by the client’s planner, the assigned Pension Transfer Specialist will be introduced and the initial stage of the process, the triage stage, shall begin.

Track Small

Could you be the next Paraplanner to join our team?

We currently have an opportunity for a Paraplanner to join our team in Aberdeen. More details can be found here.

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