Police pension could be target for transfers - MacGillivray

Police pension could be target for transfers - MacGillivray

Gold-plated pensions such as the police scheme could be targetted for transfers, the chairman of the Association of Member-Directed Pension Schemes has said.

Neil MacGillivray, who is also head of technical support at James Hay Partnership, said he had heard of advisers who are targeting defined benefit schemes in a bid to convince their members to transfer to a defined contribution one.

He said: “There is a big issue with people in final salary schemes being inappropriately advised to transfer.

“There will be a few occasions when it would make sense but they would be very few and far between and you cannot get much better than the police pension scheme.”

Separately to the upcoming pension reforms, the Home Office is reforming the police scheme, replacing the final salary pension with a career average scheme which also comes into force in April.

He said some advisers may be using the General Election as a sales tactic, suggesting to potential clients that the opportunity to transfer to a new provider may soon close.

Andy Fittes, general secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “We are not aware of people specifically targeting officers to change pension provider.

“However, with the imminent introduction of the new police pension scheme, members will undoubtedly look at their options.”

Adviser view

Nathan Long, head of corporate pension research at Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The majority of scheme members recognise the value of their defined benefit pensions and have already rejected the idea of a transfer.

“These schemes still deserve their ‘gold plated’ tag, the pension freedoms do not change that.”