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As a Final Salary pension holder, you are probably familiar with the term CETV or Cash Equivalent Transfer Value. It would be a measure of the value of your Defined Benefit pension scheme if you were to transfer it to another pension scheme. While you are entitled to one free CETV every 12 months, some schemes allow it once a quarter. However, what happens when you miss the first free CETV, or it is unsatisfactory, and you need a second one? In this blog, we will explore why UK pension clients should not be stingy with the second CETV fee. If you prefer a video format, we also have a discussion on this topic on our channel which you can watch below before reading this blog.



The Statutory CETV for Clients

The government mandates that pension schemes must provide one free CETV every 12 months. This measure is to ensure that clients have the necessary information to make informed decisions regarding their pension funds. However, while the first CETV is free, the same cannot be said for the second.

What Happens in Common

In practice, it is not uncommon for clients to miss their first CETV or be dissatisfied with it. As a result, they often turn to other financial advisors for help, only to be disappointed by the charges, transparency issues, or time constraints. When they finally approach us in the final weeks, it may be too late to obtain the CETV in time. Consequently, they need to obtain a second CETV, which is where the real issue lies.

The Cost of 2nd CETV

Pension schemes in the UK have the right to charge clients for the second CETV. The fee can range anywhere from £200 to £400 plus VAT. While some clients argue that it is just a piece of paper and that they should not be charged for it, we understand the scheme’s perspective. If every client had unlimited CETVs, the system would break, and obtaining a CETV would take even longer than it already does. Moreover, the fee charged for the second CETV probably does not cover the cost of using an actuary to do the calculations, which can be quite expensive.

Our Strategies for Missed 1st CETV

When clients miss their first CETV, our strategy is not to wait for the next free one. Instead, we advise them to obtain another one. We explain to them that waiting for the next free CETV could result in a significant drop in their CETV value, especially in a market where interest rates are increasing and CETVs are decreasing. We advise them to pay the second CETV fee to obtain the highest possible CETV value.

A Case Study

We recently worked with a client whose CETV value had dropped significantly. While he was not happy with the drop, he was not in a hurry to obtain the CETV. We advised him to obtain a new CETV every three months. He would be legally entitled to do so, and the cost of the four CETVs over a 12-month period would be £1200. The client agreed to our strategy, and we handled the administration for him. This strategy allowed the client to obtain the highest possible CETV value for his pension scheme.

Why You Should Work Together With Your IFA

Working with a financial advisor is crucial when it comes to obtaining a CETV. Financial advisors have the experience and knowledge to provide clients with many tips, tricks, and hidden benefits that they may not be aware of. For example, we have been in the business for over 30,000 hours, while our clients may have only researched their DB for a few hours. Building a relationship with your financial advisor is essential in obtaining the highest possible CETV value for your pension scheme.

Don’t Be Stingy, Work With Your IFA

In conclusion, the second CETV fee is an essential cost that clients should not ignore or be stingy with. While it may seem like an unnecessary cost, obtaining a second CETV can ensure that clients obtain the highest possible value for their pension scheme. Waiting for the next free CETV could result in a significant drop in CETV value, which could have severe consequences for the client’s retirement planning.

If you are a UK pension client and have had experience obtaining a second CETV or frustrations with your CETV values dropping, we encourage you to get in touch with us. At Cameron James, we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible service, support, and administration to ensure they obtain the highest possible CETV value for their pension scheme. Don’t be stingy; work with your IFA today to obtain the best CETV value for your pension scheme. Book a free initial consultation at Cameron James to get started.


Dominic James Murray

My career in financial services began in 2010 during my Bachelor of Science (BSc) Undergraduate degree at Aston University in England. The degree required me to spend a year abroad working with an established organisation.

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