Transfer your pensions

Having more than one pension can be messy. Make life simpler and bring them together.

Why transfer your pensions?

When you end up with more than one pension, it can be a hassle to keep on top of them. Combining your pensions into one pot makes things easier to manage.

  • Keep track - Having your pensions all in one place means you won’t lose track of where they are.
  • Plan your retirement - See at a glance how much your pension’s worth in Online Banking, so you know how your retirement plans are currently doing
  • Save money - With only one pension pot, it could cost you less in charges and fees

Of course, transferring might not be right for everyone, you may have some benefits attached to your current pension that you want to keep or it may be that we can’t accept it. We’ll look at this in more detail in ‘Your questions answered’ below.

3 Simple Steps towards transferring your pension.

Know your stuff

Read through our useful website to make sure transferring is right for you.


We'll just need a few details about you and your pensions. You’ll be done in a few steps.

Sit back

Scottish Widows will do the hard work. They’ll have you sorted in no time – and they'll keep you updated along the way.

Already have a Scottish Widows pension?

If you’re an existing Scottish Widows Pension holder, you can combine using the link. Alternatively, if you want to open a new pension with Scottish Widows continue reading below.

Why open a new pension with Scottish Widows?

  • Flexibility – you can use the same policy to both save for the future and choose how you access your pension when you’re ready
  • Suited to your needs – you can choose from a range of investment options to suit your circumstances and can change them at any time
  • Competitive charges – simple to understand and based on how much you have in your plan and how you invest
  • Fully protected - 100% of your savings are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme
  • Expertise – Scottish Widows have been guiding people through retirement for more than 200 years. They’re also part of the same group as ourselves

Your questions answered

  • Scottish Widows accept most, but not all pensions. Here is a list of the main types of pensions they can’t accept online:

    Pensions with guarantees - A Guaranteed Annuity Rate: this means, in most cases, you’d get a higher income for life when you retire than you’d get at today’s rates.


    Section 9(2B) rights or a Guaranteed Minimum Pension: these would provide you with an income that’s based on what you earned at the time this pension was set up.

    Pensions run by Trustees - If you have a pension which was set up by your employer, it might be managed by trustees. If you’re not sure if your pension is run by trustees, speak to your provider.

    Pensions with defined benefits - These can be known as final salary or defined benefits pensions, these are pensions that are linked to your salary at the time you leave the scheme

    Payments - If you or your employer are still paying into the pension and you’re planning on this continuing to happen or you are already taking an income from the pension.

    Other reasons - Your pension is with a provider outside the UK or it’s subject to a pension sharing order (typically when it’s been divided as part of a divorce) or an earmarking order. Or if you’re only looking to transfer part of your pension to us.

    You can find out about these in your policy documents or you might have to speak to your provider to find out these details. If you don’t know what to ask here’s a helpful checklist

    Download the letter (.doc, 39KB)

  • Some of your existing pensions’ benefits and features might be valuable or you think you’d like to keep them. If you transfer to us, you’ll give these up. So, it’s worth checking before you apply.

    These can include:

    Protected tax-free Lump Sum – You can normally take 25% of your pension as a tax-free lump sum at the point where you start to withdraw from your pension. Some pensions allow you to take more than this which could be of benefit to you.

    Protected Pension Age - Currently you can access your pensions from age 55. The government is likely to increase this age over time. Your pension may have a Protected Pension Age to be able to access your money earlier and you will lose this if you transfer.

    Fund guarantees or bonuses - These can include a guaranteed growth or bonus rate, a loyalty bonus or a fund bonus.

    Protection - This can include life cover, critical illness cover or waiver of premium.

    Be aware that some pensions will charge you an exit charge if you choose to transfer. Make sure you know if there is one and how much before you choose to proceed.

    You can find out if your pension has any of these by looking at your policy documents, or by speaking to your existing provider. If you don’t know what to ask here’s a handy checklist.

    Download the letter (word doc, 39KB)

    If you are a member of a workplace pension scheme(s), you should consider whether it is possible to transfer to that scheme. These schemes may benefit from lower charges relative to individual pension plans, however they may not be as flexible when it comes to investment choices or taking your benefits so it’s worth checking all these things.

  • Before you decide to transfer, you might need advice or guidance.

    What is Guidance?
    When you read our website or speak to Scottish Widows, you’ll get what’s known as guidance. They’ll answer any questions you might have about pension transfers so you can make an informed choice. But this isn't the same thing as advice, as we won’t recommend what you should do next.

    Take a look at their help and support page

    If you plan to take money from your pension soon after you transfer to us, this is an important decision.

    You could get free and impartial guidance about your pension options from Pension Wise from Moneyhelper. It’s a government service that offers clear and simple guidance online or over the phone. Find out more about Pension Wise, by visiting the MoneyHelper website.

    What is financial advice? 
    This is what you’d get from a Financial Adviser. They’ll talk to you about what your finances look like today, and your plans for tomorrow and recommend the best products to suit your personal situation. They’ll normally charge you for their advice.

    Find out more here or you can learn more about how to find an adviser through Scottish Widows

    If you plan to take money from your pension soon after you transfer to, we’ll ask at the start of our application form if you’ve had financial advice or Pension Wise guidance, or if you would like some before proceeding.


  • Competitive, clear and transparent charges.

    The more you have in your pension pot, the lower the charge rate and you’ll never pay more than 1.1% for investing in one of their Governed Investment Strategies, however if you choose to invest differently then this will affect your charges.

    For example, the charges for a pension pot of £40,000 and you want to access it flexibly in retirement, then your overall charge rate is 0.5%. This means you’ll pay just £16.67 a month.

    Assuming that:

    the pension pot value stays the same (as it grows or decreases, your charges will change), your investment choice is a Governed Investment Strategy. If you decide to invest in a different strategy – or funds – these charges will change.

  • View an example illustration (PDF, 1.5MB).

  • You could have forgotten about a pension that could make a difference to how much you save for retirement.

    If you can remember who the pension provider is, try giving them a call to see if they can help. Or, if it’s a company pension, call your previous employer for the details.


    To find a pension that you’ve lost track of, go to The Pension Tracing Service.

Online Banking customer?

If you are a Halifax online banking customer you can now view the current value of this Scottish Widows pension alongside your other accounts.

Investing and taking your pension

Now that you've decided that transferring is right for you, take a look at how your pension can be invested and understand the options for when you retire. This will help you complete the application.

Find out moreabout investing your pension

Ready to transfer?

If you’ve already reviewed and decided transferring is right for you, and read about your investment and retirement options you can start the application. You’ll need the following:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your existing pension providers name
  • The policy numbers of each pension you want to transfer
  • The Scheme name if it's a workplace pension
  • A recent transfer value for each pension
Apply to transfer my pension

Halifax is a division of Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Bank of Scotland plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 169628.

Eligible investments with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). For further information about the compensation provided by the FSCS, refer to the FSCS website at You can also visit our Financial Services Compensation Scheme page for more details.