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Guide to transferring your pension savings

Guide to transferring your pension savings

If your current pension provider can’t offer you the type of retirement option you’re looking for or if you find that another provider might offer you alternative options better suited to your needs, you might want to think about moving your pension savings to another provider. We recommend that you shop around and look at what different providers have to offer, to find what’s right for you.

When you’re shopping around please be alert to pension scams. These can take many forms. Cold callers may try to get your attention by offering a free pension review, some will appear to be legal and may even suggest that the Government has asked them to contact you. They may try to persuade you to transfer your pension savings to them, sometimes with the offer of ‘unique investment opportunities’. There have been cases where people have lost all their pension savings to these fraudsters because, as well as potential tax charges and high administration fees, the fraudsters may transfer the pension overseas, where they will have complete control of it. You can find tips on how to prevent becoming a victim of a pension scam by reading our Pensions Liberation factsheet, or you can visit the Pensions Regulator’s Pension Scams website for more information.

If you’re thinking of transferring your pension savings, make sure that you’re not losing out on any special benefits that your current pension might offer, like guaranteed annuity rates (GARs), which you may find beneficial where the market annuity rate is lower than the guaranteed rate on your policy. You should check with your provider whether you have one and how it works.

You’ll also need to check that your policy doesn’t have any early exit reduction fees – commonly known as a market value reduction (MVR) – which may reduce your pension savings if you take your benefits before your selected retirement date.

Some providers might also allow you to move your pension after you’ve started taking money from it. You can find lots of useful information on transferring your pension on the Pensions Advisory Service website.

Shopping around

Remember, you should always shop around to make sure you are getting the right investment fund option for your pension savings or the right retirement choices for you. You may be able to obtain a higher pension income by shopping around. The easiest way to do this is to contact Pension Wise, speak with a financial adviser, use a comparison website or contact providers directly.

  • We always strongly recommend that you should seek financial advice or talk to Pension Wise before making any decision in regards to your policy. There is a requirement to obtain financial advice if your policy has a safeguarded benefit and a transfer value of more than £30,000 you are considering transferring to another Pension scheme.
  • Your retirement pack will usually confirm if your policy has a form of safeguarded benefit, including detail of how and when this benefit will be applied. If you are still unsure or would like to understand in more detail please contact our Customer Service team.
  • Find out how you can obtain help, guidance and advice.
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    For information on accessing your pension funds, request your personal retirement pack

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