Back to news 2 November 2015

Pension freedom - how RPF is affected

The UK Government introduced legislation effective from April 2015 to give individuals greater flexibility as to how they can use certain pension savings when they retire. The new flexibilities only apply to pension savings which are essentially “defined contribution” (also known as “money purchase”) benefits. The core benefits in RPF do not fall into this type of benefit, and therefore cannot be accessed in the new flexible ways as things stand. However, it may be possible to transfer benefits out of RPF, before they have started to be paid as pension, and convert them into benefits which could be flexibly accessed elsewhere. There is a wide range of pension arrangements to which you could transfer if this is what you wanted to do. The Thomson Reuters UK Retirement Plan (“TRRP”) is one arrangement which is open to you to transfer your RPF benefits. It offers some of the new flexible forms of access, including drawdown. Depending on what you want to do with your benefits, TRRP could be a suitable choice, or you may wish to transfer your benefits elsewhere. Before transferring your RPF benefits to an arrangement that can provide flexible benefits, you would need to take independent financial advice from an adviser registered with the Financial Conduct Authority and authorised to advise on pension transfers. This is a legal requirement if the value of your benefits is £30,000 or more; however, we would strongly recommend that you take advice in any event. Transferring your benefits out of RPF is a big decision, and you would give up certain protections as a result. As we have said above, the core RPF benefits do not fall into the type that can be accessed flexibly, without transferring them elsewhere first. However, if you have made additional voluntary contributions (“AVC”s) to RPF, then you may be able to get some flexible access to the benefits which have built up as a result of those contributions.

If you would like to find out more about this, please contact the Thomson Reuters Member Services Centre. More information on the flexibilities offered by TRRP can be found in the publication ‘The Pension Express’ in the Scheme Documentation tab of the member website. General information about the new flexibilities is available from Pensions Wise, the Government’s new free and impartial guidance service; and from the Money Advice Service.