Case Study for Early Pension Release

  • John Smith is employed on a salary of £24,000 a year
  • Married to Joan who works part time on a salary of £7,000 a year
  • John is aged 57
  • No dependents
  • No savings

John has an old pension from when he used to work for his local council; it is a Local Government Pension, which has a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value of £40,000.

These are extremely good pensions with guarantees of what they will pay at retirement and normally John wouldn’t even consider taking benefits from it early, however, John is behind on his mortgage and owes the company £4,000. He also has a bank loan of £5,000 and an overdraft of £1,000.

All these debts came about because he was made redundant over a year ago and he has only just found new employment. He and his wife did have some savings but these have all been used up. He is making payments on his mortgage and bank loan now but the mortgage company are saying that if he doesn’t pay back his arrears they will reposes his house.

John and Joan have tried getting a consolidation loan but can’t because they have a bad credit rating; they’ve even spoken to Citizens Advice but they couldn’t help. None of their friends or family are able to help them either and every bit of money they earn each month goes out again just on living. It’s not as if they have luxuries they spend their money on that they could cut back on.

They have basically tried every avenue possible to try and solve their problem and it is only because they have exhausted every other option that they are now considering using John’s pension.

John is unable to take benefits early direct from his Local Government Pension Scheme so he is going to transfer it into a Personal Pension. He is then able to release 25% of the transfer value as a Tax Free Cash Sum, which is £10,000, leaving the rest of the money invested in his Personal Pension to take as an income when he eventually retires.

Transferring his pension means he has now lost all the very valuable benefits and guarantees that he would have got with his Local Government Pension Scheme and there are charges and costs involved with the advice he has been given and to set up the new plan.

However, John will still get a pension when he retires, albeit smaller than he would have otherwise got, and he and his wife can stay in their home and clear all their debts.

He made sure he fully understood what guarantees he was giving up and all the costs, charges and risks he would be taking by going ahead with Early Pension Release, this enabled him to make an informed decision.