A: Yes, if it's a 'recognised transfer', it will be an authorised member payment with no adverse tax consequences.
A: Not all benefits need to be transferred at once, they can be transferred in stages. Benefits are not usually tested against the lifetime allowance at date of transfer, except where the transfer is to an overseas scheme.
A: If the individual had enhanced or primary protection the benefits could be transferred to another registered pension scheme after A-Day and they would keep the higher tax-free cash entitlement.
However, the same would not apply to somebody with a tax-free cash entitlement of more than 25% who had not applied for primary or enhanced protection. These people will lose their entitlement to the higher amount of tax-free cash under the new plan, unless they transfer as part of a 'block transfer' or in certain circumstances on the wind-up of an occupational scheme.
A: No, the Open Market Option (OMO) only applies where someone buys an annuity from their current scheme and the annuity is actually bought on the open market to take advantage of better annuity rates available from another provider. An OMO can only be used to buy annuity it can't be used to provide a different kind of benefit.
As John has an entitlement to more than 25% tax-free cash but no access to drawdown from his current pension scheme, the only way he can access drawdown is to transfer, before taking benefits, to a pension scheme that provides it.
For the higher tax-free cash entitlement to survive the transfer, the transfer will have to be a block transfer or a wind-up transfer