A word of warning to active and deferred members

The Pensions Regulator, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), supported by the Money and Pensions Service, have released a statement to pension scheme members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The message is to stay calm and not rush to make financial decisions during this time of financial uncertainty. The industry has fears that the impact of the pandemic on global markets and people’s personal finances may make members more vulnerable to scams or making a decision that could damage their long-term interests.

The Pensions Regulator has today (29 April 2020) also instructed pension schemes to issue the following letter to any member requesting a transfer quotation www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/-/media/thepensionsregulator/files/import/pdf/cetv-members-letter. If you request a transfer quote from UKPO, you will be issued a copy of this letter. Here are the main points for Scheme members to be aware of:

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, stock markets have fallen and are likely to go up and down for some time while your Scheme pension remains a safe, long-term investment for your retirement
The Regulator has stressed that transferring out of a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme (such as NGUKPS) into a different type of pension arrangement is unlikely to be in a member’s best long-term interests
Transferring out of the Scheme is a serious and irrevocable decision
Before making any decisions about your NGUKPS pension you should always seek independent financial advice.
If you are within a year of your earliest retirement age, i.e. you are currently age 54 or over (or age 49 if you left National Grid due to redundancy), My Retirement Planner is designed to support you to make informed decisions about your retirement, and for most people includes access to dedicated and funded independent financial advice.

For further information regarding the Scheme’s member services during the Covid-19 pandemic please view our Q&A.