Understanding and making changes to your pension

It’s important your provider has the right information about you and you understand what they’re telling you. Find out what you need to know and when to ask questions about your pension. 

Understanding your pension

Your pension scheme provider should give you the information you need to understand your pension.

But pensions can be complicated. So if you’re uncertain about something, it’s always best to ask for a written explanation.

Pension providers need to hold a lot of information to run your pension scheme. They sometimes rely on other organisations for that information – for example, your employer. This means that sometimes mistakes can be made.

Here’s a useful checklist when dealing with information about your pension:

  • They can be complicated – so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Read the information you’re sent – it could be a valuable opportunity to prevent a mistake.
  • You can get help from your pension provider – and from us – if you’re uncertain what something means.
  • If you’re making plans that affect, or depend on, your pension – make sure you get up-to-date information from your pension provider.
  • If you want your pension provider to make any changes – be clear what you want them to do and when. It’s important to follow up, to make sure it’s done.
  • Update your pension provider or pension scheme if there are any changes to your contact details.
  • There might be times when you’re sent a lot of information at the same time. There are reasons for this, and a lot of what you get sent is required by law. It’s your pension, so you need to read what you’ve been sent. But we can help you work out what it means and why the provider has sent it to you.
  • Always read the small print.
  • Remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
arrow icon

Making plans

Are you planning your finances around your pension pot? Then be aware that it’s important not to assume that information you were given for another purpose is all you need to make your plans. For example, information you received when you joined the scheme or in your annual statement.

This is particularly true when it comes to things you were told many years ago. For example, the scheme guide you got when you joined, or any investment projections you’ve been given.

Make sure you tell your pension scheme or pension provider what you’re planning to do. This will mean you can get up-to-date information from them in writing that’s relevant to your decision.

For example, if you left a company pension plan some time ago and you want to draw on the pension early. Then you’ll need to get an early retirement quote for the date you have in mind. It’s also important to update them with any changes to your contact details.

Making changes to your pension

When you want to make changes to your pension, it’s important to make sure that your provider is clear what you want to do. And that they’ll be able to do what you ask within a reasonable time.

For example, if you want to change your investments, you’ll probably need to be clear about the name of the investment fund you want to use. Your provider will be able to give you a list of the funds you can put your money in with them.

You’ll need to be clear about whether you want to move money that’s already invested in your pot into the new fund – or just your future payments into the pot.

Or, if you’re merging different pots into one – it’s important to tell your pension companies about any deadlines they need to meet.

Always make sure that you follow up with your pension provider to make sure that they’re doing what you need them to do. It’s a good idea to get them to confirm when they’ve completed the task. Your financial adviser, if you’re using one, can help you with this.

Information your provider sends you

There will be times when your pension scheme or provider will send you information about your pension. This is an opportunity for you to point out any mistakes.

For example, an annual statement will usually set out personal information about you – such as your date of birth. A mistake with that information can have big consequences for your pension. 

Details of your monthly payments will usually be on your annual statement. Look for any missing payments into your pension – or changes to the amount that you weren’t expecting.

If you think any of the details are wrong, contact your employer or the pension scheme administrator as soon as you spot them.

arrow icon
Was this information useful?
Thank you for your feedback.
We’re always trying to improve our website and services, and your feedback helps us understand how we’re doing.
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.

Continue to website
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.

Continue to website
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.

Continue to website
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using…
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
0800 011 3797* Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
0800 138 7777* Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using webchat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp
+44 77 0134 2744

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts or credit questions. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or telephone.