Posted March 4th, 2011
“I am about to receive a pension sharing order and need advice about investment”
This is a very popular question and the first thing I always do is to double check the information provided on the pension sharing options with the existing pension scheme. The reason I double check is often the information provided to the spouse is appalling and it is often incorrect. I see misinformation provided on a daily basis!
Internal transfer or external transfer?
Sometimes the pension scheme will offer an internal transfer of benefits and you can remain in the scheme. Often the benefits on offer to you are good and worth staying in the scheme for. You should be looking for true shadow membership.
But if you have to exit the scheme (and this is very common) it is necessary to check what schemes are available for the pension credit to go into. Questions to consider are:
• Do you have any personal pensions already?
• Do you have a works scheme? And can this take the transfer?
• If not, what is on offer from the market.
Advice on the most suitable pension to transfer your pension credit should be taken. Ensure your adviser is suitably qualified. The Financial Services Authority insists on a certain level of qualification to undertake this work.
On an external transfer the investment of the pension will be important because you will be taking on two new risks – how it performs between now and your retirement and how much income you will eventually draw out at retirement.
If you are a long time from retirement you could consider investing in growth assets (equities/property) which tend to be more risky or if it is a short time to retirement more defensive assets (cash / gilts) to protect your capital value. Setting a goal in terms of retirement income is also advisable.
When working with my clients I undertake a thorough review of their attitude to risk and tolerance to risk, their options in terms of pension sharing and from this provide advice on the most suitable pension arrangement and investment strategy to meet their goals.
If you would welcome some assistance on your pension sharing order, your options and how to get it implemented, please feel free to contact me on 0800 092 1229 or email me email@example.com