The Government is keen to see an increased take up of Pension Wise guidance as evidence shows that individuals who have received the guidance felt that it helped them understand their pension options better and that they learnt something new from using the service.
Pension Wise, which is part of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), provides free, impartial guidance to help individuals, aged 50 and over with money purchase benefits, understand the options available to them.
As a result, the Trustee is required by law to refer members with money purchase benefits to guidance from Pension Wise when the member asks to either transfer their benefits out of the Plan or to start taking their benefits from the Plan. This applies to members who have a pension pot in the Money Purchase 2003 Section or the Auto Enrolment Section, and also to members of the defined benefit sections with Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs).
There are some exceptions, but where we are required to refer you for guidance, you cannot transfer or take your benefits until you have either obtained or opted-out of receiving the guidance.
- Booking a Pension Wise appointment
You can book a Pension Wise appointment yourself by calling them on 0800 138 3944 (+44 20 3733 3495 if you are calling from outside of the UK). You can also book an appointment online at www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/pensions-and-retirement/pension-wise/book-a-free-pension-wise-appointment - This link opens in a new browser window.
Alternatively, we can book a pensions guidance appointment with Pension Wise for you on a date and at a time that is convenient for you.
You can tell us how you would like to proceed by completing the Guidance confirmation form.
- How do I opt-out of receiving pensions guidance?
If you wish to opt-out of receiving appropriate pensions guidance you must give the Plan written notice of this. The easiest way to do this is to complete the Guidance confirmation form.
- When do I not need to receive pensions guidance?
You do not need to receive pensions guidance or opt-out of receiving the guidance if:
- you are under age 50
- you have already received pensions guidance from Pension Wise in the last 12 months
- you want to transfer to consolidate your pension benefits into one pension savings arrangement
- you are transferring to a contract-based scheme with a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated provider, such as a personal pension scheme or a self-invested personal pension scheme (SIPP)
- you have already been referred to guidance by the trustees or managers of a different scheme and have received or opted out of that guidance
Please complete the Guidance confirmation form to tell us if this applies to you.
- I am a member of the Money Purchase 2003 (MP03) section who joined before 6 April 2016, what additional information do I need?
If you are a pre-April 2016 member of the MP03 Section your benefits will include an RST underpin and this may affect whether you have money purchase benefits. If you think this applies to you, we recommend that you read the FAQs on our website. Download the Reference Scheme Test document(PDF 753KB). You may also wish to provide a copy of this information along with your quotation when you have your appointment with Pension Wise.
- Where can I get more help?
- Visit the section information area of the Plan website www.pearson-pensions.com/library for further information on the benefits available for your section.
- Ask an independent financial adviser to help you. You can find an independent adviser in your area on the MoneyHelper website at: www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/pensions-and-retirement/taking-your-pension/find-a-retirement-adviser - This link opens in a new browser window. You will have to pay for the advice or services that you receive from the adviser.
- Returning your form
The easiest way to confirm your decision is to complete the Guidance confirmation form on our website.
If you would prefer to complete a printed form, you will receive one with your retirement or transfer pack, you can return the completed form using the Submit a document form on our website.
Alternatively, if you prefer to return your form by post, please send it to:
The Pearson Pension Plan
PO Box 9519
Please remember that you cannot proceed with your application to transfer your benefits or take them, unless you have either:
- received and notified us of receipt of appropriate pensions guidance; or
- opted-out of receiving the guidance by completing and returning an opt-out notification.