What happens to my pension benefits when leaving employment

Benefits payable on leaving

Leaving employment or changing from employment to self-employment raises issues to be considered in relation to your pension benefits. Generally, you have three main options depending on the circumstances:

  • leave your benefits in your existing pension arrangement
  • transfer your benefits to your new arrangement
  • take a refund of contributions in limited circumstances


Preservation of benefits

Preservation is a term defined in the Pensions Act to refer to a requirement for occupational pension schemes to maintain benefits for members after they leave. This simply means that you leave the accrued pension benefit accumulated from this employment in the scheme. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to choosing this option. We recommend that you seek advice from one of our trusted advisors before making a decision.


Transfers of benefits

Pension arrangements generally allow you to transfer your pension benefits from one arrangement to another. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to choosing this option also.


Refund of member contributions

In certain circumstances you may be eligible to take a refund of contributions paid into a pension arrangement. This is subject to certain Revenue limits relating to your company service and the value of your Pension benefits. There may also be taxation implications if a member wants a refund of contributions.

The next Steps

Whether you want to Preserve, transfer or a refund of your pension contributions, we recommend that you speak to one of our trusted pension specialists before making your decision. They will be able to provide impartial, expert advice that will allow you to make a fully informed decision.

Comprehensive list of Potential pension charges

This is a personal decision which needs to be made by each individual according to their individual circumstances. However, we strongly recommend that you speak to one of our trusted advisors before making such a major financial decision. There are numerous factors to consider and you need to clearly understand the full implications of both options before reaching a decision. Our Pension Specialists have many years’ experience in these matters & we commit to delivering you with free, independent advice, delivered to you in easy to understand/plain English.

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