But what about the practicalities?
If you’ve kept the paperwork from your previous pensions, you will know which company runs the pension fund. Even if you were with a large employer, the fund will still be run by the likes of Standard Life, Scottish Widows, Aviva, Aegon, Royal London etc.
If you don’t know the details of your old pensions but you know where you worked and when, you can use the government’s pension tracing service to find contact details of the investment manager running the pension fund.Once you have that information, you can request up to date valuations. You should also find out the costs of paying into the pensions (all will have an Annual Management Charge) so you can get an idea for which one might be best value.
If you do want to combine your pensions, you can simply contact the providers and instruct them to do this – but you’re making a decision that will have far-reaching consequences, so it’s really important to consider:
- Whether you’re transferring to the best value scheme (factor in performance as well as costs)
- Whether there are penalties for transferring
- Whether you’re giving up benefits that would be very useful to you in the future. Quite often if you transfer out, you won’t be able to transfer back in on the same terms
- Whether the funds you’re transferring to are suitable for you at your current life-stage and if they are in line with your future goals
It is always best to get independent financial advice if you’re considering consolidating your pensions and if you have defined benefit (final salary) pensions, it is a legal requirement to get financial advice if your pot is worth more than £30,000. You can find out more about defined benefit pension advice here.
In conclusion, this is an administrative procedure that you can undertake relatively quickly, but the key is to make the most appropriate decisions for you to achieve your retirement goals.
Speak to a Wren Sterling Independent Financial Adviser to find out!
A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Pension income could also be affected by interest rates at the time benefits are taken.
The tax treatment of pensions in general and tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation, which are subject to change in the future.