Getting your pensions into one place
If you’ve got pension pots with previous employers, you can normally transfer them into your new plan. Keeping your pension savings in one place could make them easier to manage, cost you less and give you greater choice, but it might not be right for everyone. There are a few things you need to consider before you make a decision, including:
- the charges for each plan
- whether there are any penalties for transferring
- whether there are any benefits or guarantees you might lose if you move your money
- what options are available at retirement
If you are considering transferring your plan to us, we recommend you read the Guide to pension transfers.
You can find lost pension pots through the Pension Tracing Service.
We would always recommend taking financial advice to make sure that transferring is the right thing for you. You can find an adviser in your local area at unbiased.co.uk. Financial advisers usually charge a fee for their services, but it will be personal to you and your circumstances. We offer you a way of paying your adviser directly from your pension pot, called a facilitated adviser charge. The Facilitated adviser charge guide explains how this works.
We will only accept a transfer payment from a pension scheme that has safeguarded benefits or is invested in a With Profits Fund, if you have received financial advice that recommends you make the transfer.
Safeguarded benefits include some sort of guarantee about the rate of secure pension income that you, or your survivors, might receive. Examples include:
- Defined Benefit scheme (referred to as final salary schemes)
- Has a Guaranteed Annuity Rate
- Has a Guaranteed Minimum Pension
You may be able to transfer from a defined benefit pension scheme without advice if the value of your transfer is under £30,000. You should be aware of the risks of transferring from a defined benefit pension scheme and understand the consequences of doing so. Please contact our helpline on 0345 070 8686 for further information.
We also cannot accept a transfer from a plan that is in income drawdown or flexi-access drawdown. You can check if any of these apply to you on your most recent pension statement from your previous provider.
What to do next
- If you decide you want to transfer other pots into this pension plan you can call our helpline or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the transfer paperwork.
- Once you’ve made your decision and filled in the paperwork, return it to us and we’ll contact your previous pension provider and start the transfer process for you.
- When the transfer has been completed we’ll write to you to confirm how much was transferred.
The timescales to complete your transfer can vary. If your previous provider uses the pension provider paperless transfer service your pension transfer could be completed within 10 working days.
If completion of your transfer request needs to go through the post it will take longer, sometimes up to 8 weeks. This depends on your previous provider’s requirements and they may ask you to complete further forms to transfer your pension plan.