Case Study

Partnering with a US Advisor

Smiling adult man wearing spectacles and looking at camera.

Florin Pensions was contacted by a nationwide US wealth management firm experienced in advising high net worth US resident clients. The firm identified Florin Pensions from web-based searches for UK pension advisors based in the US and contacted us to see whether we may be able to assist their client, Paul.

Paul had been working in the USA for over 10 years as a senior technology executive and had two deferred UK defined benefit (DB) pensions. He had very little information on them. Florin Pensions obtained up-to-date statements of benefits from the current administrators of the schemes and confirmed that the two DB pensions had total cash equivalent transfer values (CETV) of £1.27M or a combined future annual DB pension of circa £37,000 from age 60.

Paul confirmed that his key objectives for his UK pensions were:

  • To review his existing pensions to ensure they remained suitable for him in terms of his circumstances and retirement plan;
  • Examine the options on offer from the existing pension schemes;
  • To understand whether transferring to a UK personal pension plan might better suit his financial planning objectives vs. taking the fixed income for life provided by the DB pensions;
  • Ensure he had full control over his pensions so that he could take his pension benefits as and when he liked from age 55;
  • Ensure his beneficiaries inherit as much as possible of his pensions when he passed away; and
  • Ensure his retirement objectives and risk mandate were managed effectively across his US and UK retirement assets.

Florin Pensions explained to Paul that it is widely accepted that in most cases, it will remain in the best interests of a client to retain their DB pensions for the secure benefits they will provide in retirement. We partnered with an independent UK pension transfer specialist to review Paul’s personal circumstances, attitude to transfer and investment risk and the generosity of each of the CETVs offered by the schemes.

After detailed reviews, and based upon Paul’s specific circumstances, it was recommended by the UK advisor that Paul consider a transfer of both CETVs to a UK Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). A key factor in this decision was Paul’s ability to already meet his retirement income needs from his existing US retirement assets and manage the drawing of his future pensions in a tax efficient manner.

Paul proceeded with the DB pension transfers and, after completion, we assisted with the investment of his SIPP into a GBP portfolio managed by a US/UK fund manager Florin Pensions partners with.

Florin Pensions and Paul’s US wealth advisor have calls together with Paul to review his portfolios in the context of his overall financial planning. Paul likes the fact that his core US wealth continues to be managed by his existing US wealth manager, with whom he has a long relationship with. Florin Pensions remains his UK pensions advisor, working collaboratively with his US wealth advisor.