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    Read on and consider very carefully . . . .

    XPS Administration has been dealing with transfers in and out of the Firefighters' Pension Schemes for many years.

    It has become very apparent where transfers are concerned, that some companies are taking advantage of individuals, particularly those who are keen to access their accrued pension benefits sooner than their scheme allows. This is known as ‘Pensions Liberation’, another term for it could be con-artists.

    The Pensions Regulator and XPS Administration are extremely keen to avoid members being duped into making decisions about transferring their benefits which can ultimately cost tens of thousands of pounds and cause huge financial problems for scheme members, many having spent the majority of their lives building up these benefits.

    All of the firefighters' pension schemes are extremely comprehensive, insofar as they provide lifelong benefits for you and for your family. They pay pensions that are index-linked, ensuring they maintain their purchasing power over the years and are absolutely guaranteed to continue to be paid regardless of the performance of the marketplace, the solvency of your former employer or any other inherent risks associated with the payment of pensions.

    By transferring to another company, you do not have this peace of mind.

    It has been known for people to transfer benefits to pension companies who on the face of it, seem completely legitimate. There will generally be a promise of quick early release of cash with the rest to follow (there are various ways that this cash is promised to you). What generally isn't made clear by these companies is the following:

    • These companies will take a cut (often a very large cut) of your transfer value for their efforts
    • If HMRC find that you have been paid this cash early, they will tax any income (including lump sums), up to 55%
    • You will not have any form of income guarantee (no definitive period over which a pension will be paid)
    • You will have no statutory indexation (generally, your pension will not increase)
    • Your family will almost certainly not receive benefits if you die
    • You will lose your employer's contribution towards your pension

    Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We would always advise scheme members to take independent financial advice prior to transferring out to a pension scheme.

    We do appreciate that there can be a need for instant access to cash. Please consider the many alternatives available to you and avoid the problems that pensions liberation can cause.

    Please read through the documents below, these have been prepared by the Pensions Regulator to advise of the pitfalls of transferring to these companies. Here you will see some real life examples of the working of these unscrupulous companies, and may make you think twice about transferring your guaranteed retirement income to a potential scammer.

    http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/individuals/dangers-of-pension-scams.aspx