Having more than one pension can be messy. Make life simpler and bring them together.
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.
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.
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.
Scottish Widows will do the hard work. They’ll have you sorted in no time – and they’ll keep you updated along the way.
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.
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
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.
If you’re unsure on any point you can call Scottish Widows , they’ll also help you understand what you should consider before transferring to them. This service is free however they can only explain things to help you make your own decision and can't give you any advice.
If you feel that you need further help in understanding if this is the right thing for you, or your pension is one that we can’t accept you may benefit from advice. Find out more here. Or you could speak to an Independant Financial Advisor.
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.
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.
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 The Pension Tracing Service or call them on 0345 600 2537 Monday–Friday 8am–6pm.
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.;
If you’ve already reviewed and understand, if transferring is right for you, your investment and retirement options you can start the application. You’ll need the following: