Pension scams and liberation

Since 6 April 2015, Police Pension Scheme (PPS) members have not been allowed to transfer their pension benefits to a scheme from which it may be possible to acquired a right or entitlement to flexible benefits.

Flexible benefits are defined in the Pension Schemes Bill 2014-15 as:

  1. a money purchase benefit;
  2. a cash balance benefit; or
  3. a benefit, other than a money purchase benefit or cash benefit, calculated by reference to an amount available for the provision of benefits to or in respect of the member.

This means that PPS members cannot transfer to a personal pension plan.

However, a PPS member can transfer to a pension scheme offering safeguarding benefits, such as a defined benefit occupational scheme.

If you wish to transfer your PPS benefits, it is very important to check that the proposed transfer is going to a reputable pension scheme.

Before you agree to transfer your pension, you should:

  • read the Pension Regulator's ScamSmart leaflet on how to protect yourself from scammers, more information can be found on the Financial Conduct Authority's website.
  • ask to see the new pension scheme's HM Revenue and Customs registration letter (note how long they have been registered - a recent registration is a warning sign of a scam),
  • check if the person giving your advice is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority, see the Financial Services register,
  • contact Money Helper on 0800 011 3797. They give free information and advice on workplace pensions,
  • do your own research - check on the internet.

If in any doubt, do not sign an agreement to transfer your pension.