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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 February 2007, 11:30 GMT
Have Your Say: Pension Transfers
Office workers

An increasing number of companies struggling to fund final salary schemes are offering cash payments to encourage employees to transfer from a company pension scheme into a private one.

Other employers are offering cash in return for employees accepting less generous final salary schemes.

The Pensions Regulator has expressed concern about such offers and has said that pension scheme members must be fully informed of the implications of transferring out.

Have you been offered incentives to transfer your company pension into a private one?

Would you be tempted to take cash now and give up your rights to the guaranteed income offered by a company final salary scheme?

Do you understand the implications of such a decision? Does it make good financial sense in the long term?

Read a selection of your comments below.

I do not condone the cash incentives with which employers/trustees attempt to persuade members of their schemes to leave and reduce the liabilities. However, how come all those within the regulatory world and the media (including Money Box) don't publish and announce the government's interference in all of this? These problems are a symptom of this government dipping its hands into the private sector's pension schemes. Employers and trustees have been forced into this position. They would be mad not to offload liabilties where possible, otherwise they may face commercial suicide. The media and goverment poking their noses in matters they don't understand misleads and confuses the public. Roll on elections and get the rot out from every angle of what used to be a democratic country. Something we can only dream about now.
Paolo Standerwick, IFA, Cheam

Hardly any scheme members have the mathematics or data to calculate whether a cash offer to leave a pension scheme is value for money. Also the fee a consulting actuary would need to charge for individual advice would usually be too high for the member. The fairest solution when scheme trustees make these cash offers is for them to pay an independent actuary to produce a short report assessing the offer so that each member can make an informed decision. This would also stop bad offers before they began as scheme trustees would know that attempts to rip off the members would be thwarted by the report.
Chris Grey AIA

People need to remember that these options are just that, options. Members of schemes do not have to take them. Transferring your pension to a personal plan and taking some cash may be completely inappropriate for a lot of people but may be worthwhile for some people who need a different approach to planning their financial affairs. The key point is to get financial advice that is both independent and personal.
Jamie, Leeds

Your piece on inducements for pension transfers or variations was interesting - anyone being offered such a payment needs to remember that HMRC will generally tax these amounts, as confirmed in a press release last month.
Matt, London

My employer is withholding pay increases from members of the final salary pension scheme unless they agree to have their pensionable pay frozen. People who have been promoted or given a pay rise in recognition of hard work are being penalised for not agreeing to pension changes about which they were not consulted.
Jo, Cambridge

The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

Money Box



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