Inward transfer of your pension benefits
If you were in another pension scheme or you contributed to a personal pension, it may be possible to transfer your pension benefits into the 2015 Scheme.
If you apply for a transfer of pension benefits, you will be informed of the amount of pension which that transfer would provide in the 2015 Scheme, so that you can decide whether to proceed with the transfer or opt to retain the benefits in your previous scheme.
The transfer value may not necessarily buy the same amount of accrued pension in the 2015 Scheme as you had in your previous scheme.
If your previous pension scheme is in the Public Sector Transfer Club (the Club), the transferred pension may be more than it would be if a transfer payment was accepted from another pension scheme. But, you must apply to transfer any deferred benefits from another Club scheme within 12 months of joining the 2015 Scheme.
A full list of Club schemes can be found here or you can ask your pensions administrator for details.
If you join the 2015 Scheme after leaving the 2015 Northern Ireland Police Pension Scheme or the 2015 Scotland Police Pension Scheme, any accrued pension in that scheme is transferred into the 2015 Scheme.
Please note that if you have a gap in service exceeding 5 years, the above provisions may not apply.
Movement between police forces
If you move between police forces in England and Wales your pension entitlements will not change. Specifically:
- you will remain in the 2015 Scheme
- the amount of accrued pension in the 2015 Scheme remains the same
Outward transfer of your pension benefits
If you leave the police force or opt out of the 2015 Scheme before normal pension age, you may have a choice of options for your benefits. Your choice will depend on the length of your qualifying service.
If your total qualifying service amounts to less than three months, then your contributions will be refunded.
If your total qualifying service amounts to three months or more but is less than two years, your choices are a transfer out of your 2015 Scheme benefits to another pension scheme or a refund of your contributions.
If you have two or more years’ qualifying service your choices are a transfer out of your 2015 Scheme Benefits to another pension scheme or retaining deferred benefits within the 2015 Scheme.
Transfers to other pension schemes
You may be able to transfer your 2015 Scheme benefits to another public service pension scheme or another pension scheme which is registered with HM Revenue and Customs.
The transfer payment will be in the form of a cash equivalent transfer value.
The government intends to restrict transfers from unfunded public service pension schemes (such as the police pension schemes) into Defined Contribution Pension Schemes and other flexible benefit arrangements from 6 April 2015. (NEEDS UPDATING)
There are a number of issues to consider before making a transfer:
- You should be aware that there may be time limits that apply (for example, 12 months to transfer after joining a club scheme)
- If you receive a refund of contributions, you are not entitled to a deferred pension and a transfer-out will be possible only if you repay the refund of contributions first.
- The transfer value may not necessarily buy the same amount of accrued pension in your new scheme – an estimate from your new scheme should provide an indication.
Your pensions administrator can provide an example of a transfer value calculation and more information about how 2015 Scheme arrangements work, but cannot give specific advice on individual cases.