The Shell International Pension Fund (SIPF), also known as the Shell Overseas Contributory Pension Fund (SOCPF), is a Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme that was established to accommodate Shell’s international staff who could not be members of their own base country pension schemes. The SIPF provides benefits for members, their families, and dependants after they cease working for a Shell company. The benefits are based on the length of pensionable service and pensionable salary at the date of leaving. The normal pension age for both men and women is 60, although in certain circumstances it may be possible to retire earlier. If a member dies, a pension is provided to their spouse and any eligible children.
The scheme is a Bermudian Trust and is subject to the laws of Bermuda. It is non-contributory for members, with the company contributing an amount determined by the Fund’s Actuary to ensure its solvency. The Fund closed to new joiners on 1 January 2009.
Transferring from the Shell SOCPF to a personal pension can offer several potential benefits, including:
- Increased flexibility in accessing the pension funds, such as the ability to take a lump sum, drawdown a portion of the fund as needed, or purchase an annuity to receive a guaranteed income for life.
- More control over investment decisions, allowing individuals to make their own investment decisions and tailor their portfolio to suit their risk appetite and investment goals.
- Potential exclusion from inheritance tax, depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the individual.
However, it’s important to consider the risks and trade-offs involved in such a decision, as transferring means giving up the security of a guaranteed income for life. A formal Pension Transfer Analysis is recommended to help assess personal circumstances, financial goals, and risk tolerance. This analysis would consider factors such as the guaranteed benefits provided by the Shell SOCPF, investment risk, charges and fees, tax implications, and retirement goals.
The SIPF is a ‘Defined Benefit’ scheme, meaning that your pension is based on your length of pensionable service and your pensionable salary at the date of leaving. This provides benefits for members, their families, and dependents after they cease working for a member company for any reason.
As of 1 January 2009, the Fund closed to new joiners.
Pension age for men and women is, in most circumstances, 60. In certain circumstances, you may be able to retire from employment early and receive a pension payable either immediately (but not earlier than age 50) or at some future date not later than your normal retiring date1.
If you die, your spouse and any eligible children will be entitled to a pension from the Fund from the first day of the month following your death. If you die without leaving a spouse, an adult dependant’s pension may be payable in certain circumstances. In addition, there may be a lump sum payable. Details of the benefits differ according to when you die.
Transferring to a personal pension can offer benefits including increased flexibility in accessing pension funds and control over investment decisions. For example, pension holders can decide to take a lump sum, drawdown a portion of the fund as needed, or purchase an annuity to receive a guaranteed income for life.
Transferring to a personal pension means giving up the security of a guaranteed income for life provided by the SOCPF. Other risks include exposure to investment risk and potential additional charges and fees. It’s important to consider your personal circumstances, financial goals, and risk tolerance before making a decision.
A Pension Transfer Analysis is a comprehensive assessment of the benefits and risks associated with transferring a pension. It takes into account factors such as the individual’s personal circumstances, financial goals, and potential tax implications. By obtaining a Pension Transfer Analysis, you can ensure that you are making an informed decision about whether transferring to a personal pension is the right choice for you too.