UK pension transfers

If you leave your pension scheme where it is, what you’ve built up still belongs to you. You can, however, normally move it to another pension scheme.

Why might you decide to move your pension?

There are many reasons why it might be a good idea to move your pension from one scheme to another. These include:

To keep your pensions together

Have you just moved jobs, or moved jobs in the past and built up pensions in different places? Then bringing them together could make them easier to manage.

This will mean:

  • you have one provider or scheme administrator to deal with
  • you only have to go to one place to get information and make instructions on your pension
  • you’re likely to receive one set of paperwork.

To lower the charges you pay

You might be able to get a better deal from another provider.

Some pension providers offer better charges the more you have with them. And in some cases, where they offer a platform, this can include money you have in other products too – such as ISAs.

To get access to different investment options

Pensions offer lots of different investment options.

They range from offering a small number of investment options to many, and others offer more specialist investment options – such as the option to invest directly in shares or property.

Moving your pension to another provider could give you access to investment options that better suit your needs. 

To get access to different options and features

Different products offer different options and features. These can include:

  • the ability to pay you a flexible retirement income
  • manage your account online
  • access to information and tools that can help you manage and make decisions about your pension.

Moving your pension could give you access to options and features that better suit your needs.

To allow you to use your pension in way that better suits your wider financial needs in retirement

Not all pensions offer all the options to take money from your pension. For example, not all pension providers offer flexible retirement income where you can set up a regular income. You may have to move your pension to be able to do this.  

Are you in a defined benefit scheme where the income is guaranteed for the rest of your life? Then it might be that you need more flexibility or are worried about the money being lost if you die early in your retirement.

Moving your pension to a defined contribution pension could, but in most cases won’t, be a good option for you. 

You cannot transfer your pension to someone else

Many people ask if they can transfer their pension to another person, but this is not possible. If you die, your pension may be payable to someone else, and in the event of a divorce or dissolution, part of your pension may also go to your ex-partner.

What should I think about before moving a pension?

In the UK, there are two main types of pensions. 

Defined benefit pension

This pension scheme pays a retirement income based on your salary and how long you’ve worked for your employer.

Defined benefit pensions include ‘final salary’ and ‘career average’ pension schemes.

Generally, they’re now only available from public sector or older workplace pension schemes.

Defined contribution pension

This pension scheme which builds up a pension pot to pay you a retirement income based on how much you and/or your employer contribute and how much this grows.

These are also known as ‘money purchase’ schemes, and include workplace and personal pensions.

Depending on the type of pension you have, there are different options available to you and different considerations that you need to think about.

Moving abroad?

It you’re moving abroad you might also want to consider transferring your pension overseas. 

Moving back to the UK from abroad?

Have you built a pension in another country, are now living in the UK and considering transferring this to the UK?  

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
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Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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