Terms of business

Important information about us


This page outlines our services, fees, and agreement to carry out work on your behalf. For us to work for you, we require a completed and signed Letter of Authority. This document gives us permission to gather information from your current pension provider(s).

By signing the Letter of Authority, you are agreeing to Pension Works working on your behalf and to these Terms of Business. We are bound by the terms laid out within this document. If you wish to speak to us, please call us on 0800 756 1288.

If your needs can be met by your DB scheme there is a strong possibility that a transfer recommendation is unlikely.

1.0 Who we are

We are Pension Works, a fully authorised and regulated independent financial advice business specialising in pensions and retirement planning. We believe that everyone should have access to financial advice from regulated advisers. Our advisory team are specialists in their field, fully qualified, experienced and ethical in all work they undertake. To ensure that we can provide high quality advice to people across the whole of the UK, we operate a fully remote, telephone based advice service.

1.1 Who regulates us

Pension Works is a trading name of Pension Works Limited. Pension Works Limited (PW) is directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), our FCA number is 739922.

The FCA regulates financial services in the UK, and you can check our authorisation and permitted activities on the Financial Services Register by visiting www.register.fca.org.uk.

2.0 The service we offer

We provide independent advice. We will consider the merits of your existing Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme to determine whether or not to transfer those benefits. Where we carry out a full analysis, we will compare your existing scheme to the most suitable alternative from the available market. Where we do this, we are not restricted to the products of any pension provider.

We will only recommend you transfer your existing DB pension scheme where we can demonstrate it is in your best interests to do so. Should we recommend you remain in your existing scheme we will set out the reasons why we have determined this is the best outcome for you.

If you do not accept our outcome and request to transfer your benefits regardless, we would not be prepared to proceed on that basis. This means if you cannot arrange the transfer directly, you would have to find an alternative firm that considers the transfer to be suitable or a firm that deals with client instructions that go against the advice that has been given (this is known as an ‘insistent client’).

For most people it will be in their best interests to remain in their existing DB scheme due to the safeguarded benefits (a secure pension income in retirement and other features) these offer. Should a transfer go ahead it is important to note that the funds you invest in will not be guaranteed as their underlying value can fall as well as rise, which means the value of the pension fund, and income you may need from it, can reduce significantly. This will be explained further should we recommend you transfer.

Our service is only available to UK residents and UK based pension schemes.

What is a Defined-Benefit pension?

A defined-benefit pension (also known as a Final Salary scheme) is a type of pension in which an employer/sponsor promises to pay a secure income for life, that normally increases each year. The amount of income payable is determined by a formula based on the employee’s earnings history, length of service and age.

Your Needs and Objectives

Unless we notify you in writing to the contrary, we will be treating you as a “retail client”. This means that you are afforded the highest level of protection under the regulatory system and should have the right to take any complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Free Abridged Advice Service (Initial Advice)

Any recommendation(s) we provide will only be given after we have assessed your needs and objectives. Considering the merits of giving up safeguarded benefits held within a DB pension scheme is a complex matter. Our review will therefore need to include, but will not be limited to, an assessment of your:

  • Financial objectives and personal circumstances
  • attitude to the risks of giving up safeguarded benefits, investment risk and capacity to bear any losses
  • benefits provided by your existing DB scheme

Our Abridged Advice Service is a shortened form of regulated advice on the transfer of a scheme with safeguarded benefits (known as a defined benefit pension). We may determine, after this initial assessment, that it is in your best interests to remain in the scheme and where we do, we will confirm this to you as our personal recommendation. If however it remains unclear whether or not you should remain in the scheme, you may be able to proceed to the Defined Benefit Review Service (Full Advice).

The Abridged Advice charge (see Our Fees) is payable to Pension Works prior to any analysis has commenced. This will be offset against the cost of Full Advice if applicable.

Defined Benefit Review Service (Full Advice – Chargeable See Our Fees)

Our Defined Benefit (DB) Review Service will provide you with a personal recommendation on:

  • whether to give up safeguarded benefits,
  • and where to transfer the funds to, should a transfer proceed.

The funds will only be invested in a new pension product if the transfer proceeds, so your adviser must consider where the funds may be invested.

HealthCheck Service

A free, no obligation Pension HealthCheck from Pension Works provides a thorough insight into current charges, past performance and assesses whether there are more suitable pensions aligned to your requirements. This service also covers ISA’s (Individual Savings Accounts), pension consolidation, pension drawdown and is only applicable to people who have private and old workplace defined
contribution pensions.

2.1 What’s Included?

You will first be asked to consider the general benefits and disadvantages of the different types of pensions schemes available. This is an educational process to help you decide whether to proceed to advice. This is without charge and is known as our ‘triage service’.

Should you wish to proceed we will carry out the initial assessment, known as our Initial Advice Service, which will include the following activities being undertaken on your behalf:

  • Contacting your pension providers and obtaining all relevant pension scheme details
  • A ‘getting to know you’ meeting with a financial adviser
  • Assessment of your needs and objectives
  • Basic cashflow modelling
  • Initial Advice report
  • Presentation meeting with a financial adviser

Where the outcome is unclear following abridged advice it will be your choice to take full advice. The Defined Benefit Review Service (Full Advice) will include the following:

  • Full scheme analysis, including a Transfer Value Comparator, to help understand the cost of the guaranteed income
  • An Appropriate Pension Transfer Analysis (APTA) to determine a suitable course of action to take
  • Enhanced cashflow models demonstrating whether future needs can be met
  • Carry out a full comparison between the existing and alternative scheme(s)
  • Assessment of scheme solvency and Pension Protection Fund benefits
  • Comparison of death benefits
  • Review of your current (or most recent) workplace pension scheme
  • Provide a personal recommendation and demonstrate our reasons for this, before agreeing it with you
  • Presentation meeting with a financial adviser
  • Implementation of advice given (if applicable)

By agreeing to our service, you are under no obligation to proceed with any recommendations that we may make.

You have no obligation to share any personal information. However, if you choose not to disclose any details requested or do so incorrectly, this may affect the quality of the advice you receive. We reserve the right to cancel the assessment, should we believe the withholding of information is impairing the integrity of our advice. We cannot be held accountable for advice given based on incorrect details provided.

How to instruct Pension Works

To enable us to carry out our service for you, we require you to complete our Letter of Authority with: –

  • The name of your pension provider(s) or/and the name of your employer if a workplace pension.
  • Your policy number (if known).
  • Your National Insurance number (NI).
  • Sign and date the Letter of Authority.

If you have more than one pension, please add them into the relevant sections on the Letter of Authority.

2.2 How to proceed with our recommendations

If our recommendations include a switch or a transfer of fund or policy and you instruct us to implement our recommendations, we will handle all fund and policy administration on your behalf. Unfortunately, we cannot control the service levels of the new or old pension providers, but we do keep in constant contact with them during the process.

Pension Works will only implement a transfer if one of our Financial Advisers has recommended it following the report. We do not act on execution only (insistent client) basis, meaning that we will not implement any transfers, based on your instruction, that is against our advice and recommendations. If you chose to switch or transfer a pension contrary to our advice and recommendations, Pension Works accepts no responsibility for this action.

Due to the complex process involved in advising on Pension Transfers, by agreeing to these Terms of Business, you agree that Pension Works Limited will not be held responsible for any losses, falls in value or missed investment growth opportunities however caused (including Investment losses, Investment growth opportunities missed, or falls in Transfer Values) whilst Pension Works are advising you or implementing that advice.

3.0 Our Fees

Abridged Advice Service (Initial Advice)

This is a completely free service which will be delivered to you shortly after your “get to know you” call with our adviser.

Defined Benefit Review Service (Full Advice)

Should you instruct Pension Works to carry out the Defined Benefit Review Service (Full Advice), the fee applicable will be based on the total Transfer Value of the Defined Benefit pension schemes being reviewed, as set out in the following table:

HealthCheck and
Retirement Planning Service

Fund Value FeeFee
First £50,0003.00%
All remaining amounts1.50%
Minimum Fee£995
Maximum Fee£4,950

Defined Benefit
Review Service

Transfer ValueDefined Benefit Review Service Fee
First £50,0003%
All Remaining2.5%
Minimum Fee2,495
Maximum Fee£14,950

Our fees are calculated based on a percentage of the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) unless otherwise agreed on an individual basis, except for the minimum fee.

Example of Our Fees

Please see below three full advice charges payable on three separate examples of cash equivalent transfer values. Please note these fees will be payable whether our advice is to transfer from or remain within your DB scheme.

Example Of Our FeesFund Value TransferredFee PercentageFee
Defined Benefit Review£75,000Minimum Fee£2,495

You can choose how to pay the Defined Benefit Review Service fee from the options below: –

  1. Paid out of your pension pot. This option will only be available if a transfer proceeds and is made into a pension product that facilitates adviser charging. This is the most tax-efficient way for our fees to be paid.
  2. Paid by cheque or bank transfer. This option is available if the advice is to retain the scheme in place, or to transfer and the payment must be made in full within 60 days of the advice being issued.

Any other services will be quoted for on an individual basis and a supplementary agreement issued to you before carrying out the work.

3.1 Carve Outs

In exceptional circumstances, if you are unable to pay our fees, you will only be liable to pay our Defined Benefit Review Service fee if we recommend a transfer out of your defined benefit scheme (this is known as contingent charging).

If you believe this is applicable to you please raise it in the “getting to know you” call with your adviser.

Having reasonably accessible funds to pay for the advice but would prefer not to pay for the advice would not qualify. If we receive evidence that contradicts the above during any stage of the advice process this will mean that you would be expected to pay the fees applicable had the carve out not applied.

The exceptional circumstances referred to in the opening paragraph of this section are defined as follows:

Serious financial difficulty

We will determine you are in financial difficulty based on the following:

  • Continuing to pay domestic bills and credit commitments is a heavy burden on you and
  • You have missed payments for any credit commitments and or any domestic bills in any 3 or more of the last 6 calendar months.

To qualify for the ‘serious financial difficulty’ you must also be capable of accessing your pension immediately after a pension transfer i.e. – you have reached the minimum age at which pensions can be accessed (i.e. – age 55).

Serious ill-health

You will meet the requirements for Serious Ill Health where:

You have a particular medical condition, as shown by reliable medical reports or records and you have a reputable source of medical information to evidence that the medical condition in question results in a life expectancy below age 75 in the majority of cases.

You must self-evidence your condition. It is not sufficient to simply ‘self-certify’ where you believe you have a limited life expectancy (for example due to family medical history or lifestyle factors).

3.2 Insurance and Protection Product Fees

We will provide a personal recommendation about the insurance products offered and represent you as the customer and advice is based on a personal recommendation. Our advice is to protect yourself, your family or your business to provide peace of mind when there is an unexpected event.

We offer insurance products from a wide range of providers on a fair and personal analysis of the market.

We will receive a commission from the insurer which is a percentage of the total annual premium.

3.3 VAT

Normally all our services are, unless otherwise stated, undertaken with the intention of arranging and administrating regulated investments and as such it is exempted from VAT. We will tell you if you have to pay VAT.

4.0 What to do if you have a complaint

We pride ourselves on our service and conduct with our clients. In the unlikely event that we have not met your expectations, please contact us in writing to :-

The Head of Compliance
Pension Works Limited Booths Park 5
Chelford Road Knutsford Cheshire WA16 8GS

By email: info@pensionworks.co.uk

A summary of our internal complaints handling procedures for the reasonable and prompt handling of complaints is available on request.

If we cannot resolve your complaint to meet your expectations, you may contact:

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
Exchange Tower
E14 9SR

Telephone 08000 234 567

E-mail: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

A summary of our procedure for the reasonable and prompt handling of complaints is available upon request.

4.1 FSCS Compensation Scheme

We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for the regulated advising and arranging services we provide so that if we are unable to meet our liabilities, you may be protected by the scheme.

For further information please go to www.fscs.org.uk

5.0 Other things you need to know

5.1 Restrictions

We reserve the right to decline to undertake any service at our discretion.

5.2 New Pensions

We will only normally set-up a new pension for existing clients, whether through a transfer or as part of the ongoing assessment service. If we do set up a new pension, our fee is £299 that can be paid as a one-off payment or 50% of your monthly pension contributions until the fee is paid.

5.3 Material Interests and Conflicts of Interest

We will act honestly, fairly and professionally known as ‘conducting business in the client’s best interest’ regulations. Occasionally situations may arise where we or one of our other clients have some form of interest in business transacted for you. If this happens or we become aware that our interests or those of one of our other client’s conflict with your interest, we will write to you and obtain your consent before we carry out your instructions, and detail the steps we will take to ensure fair treatment.

5.4 Your Goals

Unless we notify you in writing to the contrary, we will treat you as a “retail client”. A retail client means you have the highest level of protection under the regulatory system and have the right to take any complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service no later than 6 months from the date of your final decision letter.

You will only be given advice or recommendations after we have completed a detailed analysis of your needs, your personal and financial situation and your attitude to financial risk. We will also apply any restrictions on the types of products you want to consider.

You have no obligation to share any personal information. However, if you choose not to disclose any details requested or do so incorrectly, this may affect the quality of the advice you receive. We reserve the right to cancel the assessment, should we believe the withholding of information is impairing the integrity of our advice. We cannot be held accountable for advice given based on incorrect details provided.

5.5 Call Recording

We record every call both inbound and outbound, for training and monitoring purposes. We will accept both written (paper or electronic) and recorded verbal instructions to proceed, on the basis the new pension provider will accept verbal instruction.

5.6 Anti-Money Laundering

We are required by the anti-money laundering regulations to verify the identity of our clients, to obtain information as to the purpose and nature of the business which we conduct on their behalf, and to ensure that the information we hold is up-to-date. For this purpose, we may use electronic identity verification systems and may also check your details against the HMT Sanctions list as part of our obligation to prevent financial crime. We may conduct these checks from time to time throughout our relationship, not just at the beginning.

In instances where we are unable to verify your identity using our electronic system, you may need to provide further evidence to confirm your identity and residence.

5.7 Your Money

Pension Works Limited will not handle or hold your money during our service and if appropriate, the subsequent transfer of funds. Instead, money will be transferred directly between pension providers for added security. We cannot accept any payment unless it is in respect of an item invoiced by Pension Works Limited. You should not make any payment payable to a member of our staff and if requested to do, please contact the Head of Compliance immediately.

5.8 Your Assets

Investments will be registered in your own name. We will forward all documents showing ownership of your investments or policies to you as soon as practicable after we receive them. Where a number of documents relating to a series of transactions are involved, we will normally hold each document until the series is complete and then forward them to you.

5.9 Our Ethical Policy

We are committed to providing the highest standard of financial advice and service possible. The interest of our clients is paramount to us and to achieve this we have designed our systems and procedures to place you at the heart of our business. In doing so, we will:

  • be open, honest and transparent in the way we deal with you;
  • not place our interests above yours;
  • communicate clearly, promptly and without jargon;
  • Seek your views and perception of our dealings with you to ensure it meets your expectations or to identify any improvements required.

5.10 Law and Terms of Business Governance

This client agreement is governed and shall be construed in accordance with English Law and the parties shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

5.11 Force Majeure

Pension Works Limited shall not be in breach of this Agreement and shall not incur any liability to you if there is any failure to perform its duties due to any circumstances beyond its control.

5.12 Data Protection

Pension Works adheres to all GDPR directives in regard to protecting your data. If you wish to view our full data protection policy; please visit our website www.pensionworks.co.uk/privacy-policy or email info@pensionworks.co.uk to request a copy.

5.13 Cancellation

In most cases, you can exercise a right to cancel by withdrawing from the contract. In general terms, you will typically have a 30-day cancellation period with the provider for a life, pure protection or pension policy and a 14-day cancellation period for all other policies. If you wish to pause or cancel any transfer, we require written confirmation and this to be acknowledged by Pension Works.

Please be aware that should you accept advice to switch pension providers and then cancel within the 30-day period, the original provider may not accept the funds back. The start of the cancellation period will normally begin when you are informed that the contract has been concluded or, if later, the day on which you have received the contractual terms and conditions. Instructions for exercising the right to cancel, if applicable, will be contained in the relevant product disclosure information which will be issued to you.

If you cancel a single contribution contract, you may be required to pay for any loss you might reasonably incur in cancelling it which is caused by market circumstances. You might not get back the full amount you invested if you cancel the policy. Full details of the cancellation terms applicable to any product you decide to take will be given in the Key Features document or other documentation supplied by the product provider.

5.14 Commencement and Termination of Service

This Terms of Business agreement takes effect from the date it is given you and will apply until terminated. The authority to act on your behalf may be terminated at any time, without penalty, by either party giving seven days’ notice in writing to that effect to the other, but without prejudice to the completion of transactions already initiated. If you terminate any transaction, having requested us to act upon the recommendation we have provided, we reserve the right to charge a proportionate fee for the service provided. Termination of this Agreement will also terminate any ongoing service.

5.15 Terms of Business Version

This version of Pension Works’ Terms of Business was produced and in effect from 06.01.2022.

5.16 Providing Advice on Expired CETVs

If we provide advice on an expired CETV which is no more than six months old, an advice fee will still be payable to Pension Works for delivering the advice. You then have a period of 12 months from the date of original advice being given for you to obtain a new CETV and us to update our advice accordingly. Should you comply with this condition then no further advice fee would be payable however should you not comply with the above and require us to give advice outside this 12 month period you will be charged the full advice fee on the revised advice.

6.0 Insistent Client

An insistent client is a client who is given a personal recommendation by a firm but decides to enter a transaction that is different from this recommendation, and wants the firm to arrange it. With DB transfer advice, this is most likely to happen when a firm recommends a client keeps their DB scheme but the client wants to transfer anyway.

Pension Works will not undertake business with insistent clients.

6.1 Our Requirements for Defined Benefit Pensions

If you meet all of the following criteria, we can provide you with Defined Benefit transfer advice:

  • The Transfer Value must exceed £30,000
  • You must be at least 54 ½ years of age (unless terminally ill)
  • You must be a current UK resident and UK taxpayer (or non-taxpayer)
  • The DB scheme must be UK-based
  • You must not be an Insistent Client (see above)
  • If a transfer out of your pension scheme is recommended, Pension Works will also recommend an appropriate investment solution to receive the transfer. We cannot advise clients who wish to choose their own proposed scheme and investments, also known as self-investors.
  •  If you are looking at moving any of your pension(s) we strongly recommend you seek specialist financial advice from a FCA regulated Financial Adviser. You must only transfer into a regulated plan/mainstream Investment held with a regulated Investment/Pension company.
  • Under no circumstances are you to move away from our recommended investment solution and into an unregulated pension, unregulated investment, non-mainstream investment or invest in Crypto Currency.
  • You must not be on means tested benefits (excluding Child Benefit)
  • We can only provide advice on active transfer values, and a transfer can only proceed if the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) deadline has been met. Pension Works are not responsible for any costs associated with requesting a new CETV.
  • You must not be planning to move abroad in the next 5 years
  • You must not be an active member of the scheme Pension Works are being asked to advise on
  • You must not be looking to utilise your pension to acquire land or commercial property through a SIPP, SSAS or any other pension vehicle.
  • Pension Works are unable to consider a transfer for a client who is separated from their spouse or in the process of going through a divorce until there is a court approved and signed pension sharing order or finalised financial settlement.

6.2 Defined Benefit Review Service

Further process requirements for our Defined Benefit Review Service are detailed as follows:

  • Pension Works will not sign any discharge paperwork unless it handles the transfer. This is the only way we can ensure that the client is transferred to our recommended product.
  • Pension Works can only issue a confirmation of advice letter on the basis that the advice was given on an active transfer value.
  • Our advice will be valid for a period of 8 weeks (or until the CETV expires if sooner) from the date that the suitability report is issued.
  • Pension Works will not sign any discharge paperwork/transfer out forms confirming it gave financial advice if the advice provided resulted in a maintain recommendation.
  • Pension Works are unable to commit to meeting a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value expiry date and will not be liable for any losses as a result of a future down valued Cash Equivalent Transfer Value.


Due to the complex process involved in advising on Pension Transfers, by agreeing to these Terms of Business, you agree that Pension Works Limited will not be held responsible for any losses, falls in value or missed investment growth opportunities however caused (including Investment losses, Investment growth opportunities missed, or falls in Transfer Values) whilst Pension Works are advising you or implementing that advice.

Pension Works are not responsible for any delays or failure to process a Pension Transfer by the ceding or receiving scheme nor will we be responsible for any inability to complete a transfer due to your death before the scheme has processed the transfer.

6.3 Responsibility

Pension Works cannot be held responsible for any future advice which you are to receive from any other Financial Advice Firm. Any subsequent concerns relating to advice provided by another Financial Advice Firm would require you to contact that firm directly. Pension Works cannot be held liable for any losses or malpractice as a result of advice provided by those subsequent firms.