Ford Motor Co.'s three U.K. pension funds now will offer a partial transfer option to active participants, a Ford spokesman said in an email.
The option will "provide 50% of the pension and 50% of the maximum tax free cash along with a 50% cash equivalent transfer value to allow active employees the at-retirement option to split their pension in half," the spokesman said.
The move is the result of a group Ford set up with union representatives after the April 2015 implementation of so-called pension freedom in the U.K., which provided U.K. pension plan participants the option of taking their entire benefit as a lump sum instead of being required to purchase an annuity.
The spokesman said the working party was set up because the company and union representatives were "very aware that the option for employees to take the full value of their pension as a cash lump sum was a big change." There were concerns employees could be "exposed to significant risks, for example: the risk of employees making incorrect decisions, receiving bad advice and running out of pension savings, etc."
The partial transfer option is one of several recommended initiatives, which also included increased communication, and online and print resources to further educate employees.
Ford's Hourly Paid Contributory Pension Fund, Salaried Contributory Pension Fund and Senior Staff Pension Fund, Brentwood, England, have a combined £12.9 billion ($16.9 billion) of assets