Changes to the rules for transferring out of the Scheme

Dec 16, 2021
If you are still saving into your pension or you have preserved benefits then you can transfer out of the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) to another scheme or provider.

You may have changed employer or moved overseas and want to consolidate all of your pension savings in one place, or you may have opened a private pension.

If you are considering a transfer out, there’s a lot to think about. In November 2021, the government introduced new regulations which aim to protect you from pension scams. This means you may have to provide additional documentation before we can transfer your benefits to an alternative pension scheme or provider of your choice.

Before you make any decisions, you need to understand the information you’ll need to give us and the impact of a transfer on your benefits.

Transfer out regulations have changed

From 30 November 2021, the regulations for transfers out changed.

The new regulations introduced a system of red and amber flags. These flags help us identify any increased risk in your application which could be part of a scam. Trustees can refuse a transfer if conditions are not met satisfactorily. It is important to remember these regulations have been introduced to protect your pension benefits. .

Why the regulations have changed

The new regulations help to protect you from scams and transferring out of the Scheme, risking losing some or all of your pension savings.

For instance, in some cases, you may have been given advice by someone who does not have appropriate permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or asked for the transfer after someone made unsolicited contact with you (such as a ‘cold-caller’).

In 2020, the Pensions Regulator reported circa that £30m in pension benefits had been lost to scammers in just 3 years.

How do the changes affect your transfer?

Depending on the type of the scheme you want to transfer to, you may need to provide additional evidence or information to help us work out whether any amber or red flags are present.

In some cases, we might need to refer you to MoneyHelper for further support. Money Helper is a government-approved advice service, providing impartial advice on money and pensions.

In other instances, your application may be refused if it doesn’t satisfy the regulatory conditions. There are some schemes, such as public sector pension schemes, where transfers can be approved straight away.

Things to think about before you transfer

If you are thinking of transferring out of the RPS, you should make sure you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

You can ask for an estimate of your transfer value by logging in to your myRPS account. If you don’t have an account, you can register quickly and easily now.   

Transferring your pension carries significant risks. You should carefully compare the benefits of your current pension with any alternatives before you make a decision. You can watch our video on pension transfers here.

You may benefit from independent financial advice. In some circumstances, you may be required by law to take advice. You can find out more information about help and advice here.

More information on transfers

You can find out more information on transferring here. This should tell you everything you need to know about the information you’ll need to provide and how to make a transfer request.