Pension transfers videos
Here you’ll find videos to help you understand the risks and benefits of transferring your pension savings, as well as handy demos on how to transfer using our mobile app.
This video can help you understand the risks and benefits of pension transfers, so you can make an informed decision.
Today I’m going to provide information to help you decide if transferring your pension savings to a new plan with Royal London is right for you.
What we’ll talk about today:
Transferring your pension savings
Supporting you in making the right decision
About Royal London
You can transfer pension savings you’ve built up in previous pots to us. This is called ‘transferring your pension’.
These won’t automatically transfer across when you start a new Royal London pension but the good news is, you can transfer at any time.
It can make things easier to manage by combining pension savings but typically, there are certain things to consider before deciding to transfer. Everyone’s circumstances are different and transferring your pension savings has both risks and benefits.
That’s why, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of a pension transfer by weighing up your options, comparing plans and considering all the risks and benefits to make sure it’s right for you.
And if you’re unsure, we recommend you speak to a financial adviser.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to transferring your pension savings. While there could be benefits in transferring, it’s important to take time to understand the risks.
The following slides should help you get comfort in your decision as we talk through the key things to look out for.
Does your plan with your existing pension provider have any features or benefits that you could lose if you decide to transfer?
Depending on how long your plan has been active, you may not have any of the features or benefits listed. But it’s always wise to check because once you transfer, any features or benefits attached to your plan may not be replaced.
Look out the plan details from your current pension provider – if you don’t have them to hand, you can request these from them or you can ask them to provide this information. And then use this list to check if your plan has any of the following features or benefits:
Guaranteed Annuity Rate (GAR)
This is a guaranteed minimum level of income that a pension provider will pay when you start taking your pension savings. It will generally be higher with your existing provider than the rates available in the market when you retire. And because this is such a valuable benefit you should seek financial advice before making any decision.
Some pension schemes reward customers with a loyalty bonus after a set number of years. This could be paid by giving back some of your annual management charge or as a lump sum when you come to take your pension savings, depending on the scheme. Usually if you choose to leave a pension scheme that has a loyalty bonus you’ll lose this benefit so it’s important to consider the impact this may have on your retirement planning and seek advice.
Protected tax-free cash
Tax-free cash is the money you can take as a tax-free lump sum when you begin to take your pension. It’s currently set at 25% of the fund. Older pensions may allow you to withdraw a higher percentage of tax-free cash. In some circumstances, you can transfer this benefit to your new pension. This ring-fenced amount is called Protected tax-free cash. If you choose to transfer your pension savings, it may be possible to keep this entitlement.
Protected pension age
Currently age 55 is the earliest you can start taking your pension. Your existing provider may allow you to take your pension when you’re younger than 55. This is called your protected pension age and it’s possible to protect this benefit in some circumstances.
There are a range of features and benefits an employer may add to a pension scheme. You should speak to the pension provider of any pension pots you’d like to transfer to get more information about any benefits you have on your plan.
So what is an AMC and why does it matter?
All pension providers apply a yearly charge for managing your plan. This is known as the Annual Management Charge or AMC.
It’s taken automatically each year from the value of your pension savings.
It’s worthwhile taking the time to understand and compare plan charges because if you choose to transfer your pension savings into a new plan it could mean you pay higher or lower charges.
There's no extra cost to transfer your pension savings into a new plan with us but it’s worthwhile contacting the pension provider of any pension pots you’d like to transfer to find out if they’ll charge you for moving your savings.
If you decide to transfer your pension savings into a new plan, you could benefit from a wider choice of investments. Investments which have a wide range of assets classes like equities, property and bonds can help reduce the risk of any market falls as these can be spread to help your investments cope with the market’s ups and downs.
You can choose your own investments and if you decide to do this, it’s important to think about how much risk you're willing to take. Higher risk investments can help your money grow more but there's also a greater chance of losing money. And with lower risk investments, your money may not grow as much as you want it to.
It’s important to regularly review your investment options to make sure they’re meeting their overall objectives and are giving you the best returns for the level of risk you are comfortable with. Each fund’s performance has a benchmark: a gauge against which the performance of the fund can be measured. It’s important to remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance, so you need to regularly review performance. This is something you can do yourself, get a financial adviser to do or sometimes the pension provider will do this on your behalf.
At Royal London if you’re invested in our Governed Range, we regularly review this. And if our experts decide that the mix of assets needs to be adjusted, it happens automatically on your behalf, you don’t need to do anything. This ongoing governance comes at no extra cost to you.
To explore what your existing pension savings might be worth, based on the investment choice and chosen retirement date for your Royal London plan, you can request a personalised illustration from our online service.
By keeping a close eye on your pension you can check it’s doing what you need and make sure it remains suitable for you, your needs and your future.
It’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of a pension transfer as it may not be in your best interests to transfer your pension savings to us.
If you’re not sure transferring is right for you, you should speak to a financial adviser. You can find one in your area by visiting royallondon.com/find-a-financial-adviser
Advisers may charge for their services – though they should agree any fees with you upfront.
By taking the time to understand all of the things we’ve talked through today, should help you make a decision that’s right for you.
Here’s some facts to help you get to know us better:
We’re a mutual
We’re the UK's largest mutual life, pensions and investment company. And as a mutual, we’re owned by our members. So when we say we put our customers at the heart of our business, we really mean it - looking after your best interests is what we’re all about.
We'll aim to give your pension savings an extra boost by adding a share of our profits to your plan each year. There’s no guarantee we'll be able to award ProfitShare every year but if we do well, so do you. We’ve call this your ProfitShare.
Five star service
When it comes to service, we think you deserve the royal treatment. We put people at the heart of everything we do – and underpin our personal service with technology. That’s why we’ve won five stars for service for the last 13 years in a row.
In this short video we'll show you how our app can be used to request a transfer pack from us if you're thinking of transferring a pension to us.
Before we start we'll help you understand what you need to think about before we can do anything. Transferring may not be in your best interests as you may lose valuable benefits which can't be replaced. We also recommend you speak to a financial adviser before making a decision.
To start, you should click request a transfer pack.
We then have some helpful guides for you. So you know what to expect, what happens and what we'll be doing.
For us to be able to send a transfer pack out, all we need is your plan number and the name of the provider for the pension you're transferring from.
You'll also see the detail of what information we might request from the other provider.
You then just need to click the agreement for us to request more information.
To end, there's a quick thank you from us. We'll then send you a transfer pack in the post and be in touch with you if we need any more information.
In this short video, we'll show you how our app can help you transfer your pension to us once you've received your request to transfer pack.
Before we start, we'll help you understand what you need to think about before we can do anything.
Transferring may not be in your best interests, as you may lose valuable benefits, which can't be replaced. We also recommend you speak to a financial advisor before making a decision.
To start, you should click ready to transfer.
We then have some helpful guides for you, so you know what to expect, what happens, and what we’ll be doing.
For us to be able to receive your pension transfer, all we need is the plan number and the name of the provider for the pension you're transferring from.
You also need to confirm that the full plan value is to be transferred.
You then just need to agree to our privacy notice and the declaration for us to be able to start transferring your pension to end. There's a quick thank you from us, we'll then start the pension transfer process and we'll be in touch with you if we need any more information.
Join our pensions experts Clare Moffat and Sarah Pennells as they cover the pros and cons of transferring a pension and what you need to know before making a decision. This session was recorded on 5 July 2022.
Sarah Pennells: Hi, I'm Sarah Pennells and I'm the consumer finance specialist here at Royal London. Welcome to this webinar. I'm joined today by Clare Moffat and we're going to be spending the next 45 minutes or so talking about pension transfers. Clare, could you explain first of all a bit about what your job involves? I, I was going to say why you're here but that sounds quite rude. And also why we are talking about pension transfers today.
Clare Moffat: Hi everyone and hi Sarah. So, I'm a pension and legal expert at Royal London. I talk and I write about how pensions work. Now, the reason we're talking about pension transfers is because you all asked for it. We did a poll and this was the top result and we're really keen to offer webinars on subjects that you want to hear about.
Sarah Pennells: Well, I've got a few questions for Clare to get the ball rolling but then there will be plenty of time for you to ask your questions and I noticed that we've got some are already coming in. Now, it's important to say at the outset that we can't answer specific questions if you've got a Royal London pension plan but we can take general questions about pension transfers. So, Clare, you use the term, and I just used it as well a moment ago, 'transfer' but I think people may have heard the term 'combining' or 'consolidating', or 'merging' or 'switching' or 'bringing their pensions together', so do all these various terms refer to the same thing or is there a difference between them?
Clare Moffat: So, all of these terms mean the same thing if, and it's quite a big if, we're talking about moving from one pot of money to another pot of money, what's known as 'defined-contribution pensions' when you know what's being put into it. Moving different pots of pension money perhaps you and your employer have been adding to and putting them in, in one pot, but Sarah, why might someone want to transfer their pension?
Sarah Pennells: I think it's kind of helpful to think about our working lives and the fact that, you know, most of us don't have a job for life these days, and in fact we may not want that. We may have a number of jobs through our working live and the more jobs we have the more pensions we're likely to have to go with it and that can be quite hard to keep track of. I was, sort of, thinking back about my own career so far and I've had seven different jobs, people on this webinar may have had more or less but since automatic enrolment came in you're likely to be put into your workplace pension scheme soon after you join, so you've had a lot of jobs, that could be a lot of pensions to keep track of. So, just to get a feel of everyone's experience here I'd like to do the first of our polls, so you'll see the question coming up on the screen. The question is, how many different pensions do you have? So, please vote in our poll. So, just seeing the-, some of the results coming in, I've, I've-, I voted myself so I said I've got seven different jobs but-, or I've had seven different jobs, I actually have four different pensions from them so that seems to be two to four currently is the most popular answer. Some people have more than ten though I've noticed, which is a lot of pensions frankly. Clare, any thoughts on what we're seeing so far?
Clare Moffat: It's really interesting. I'm surprised that there's actually so many between two and four, I thought we might see a bit more of a split. I'm definitely in that category too, between two and four. I've had five jobs since I qualified, so yeah, but interesting.
Sarah Pennells: And one in five people who voted so far have got between five and seven pensions and, again, you know, that's, that's, that's a good handful of pensions, depending on the kind of person you are it may be easy or hard to keep track of and we'll cover that bit later on in the webinar. So, two, two to four definitely seems to be the most popular answer at the moment. I think it is important to emphasise though that whether you are someone who has two to four pensions or you've got ten or more pensions, we're not saying that just because you have lots of pensions you should transfer them into one. So, I think it's worth spending a bit of time talking about who can't transfer. So, if we have an example of somebody who's a, you know, a nurse or a teacher, or a firefighter, Clare, can they transfer their pension?
Clare Moffat: No, they can't. So, if you work in the public sector and you're doing jobs like those you mentioned or other jobs then you normally can't transfer to another pension and that's because those pensions, they-, well, they don't have pots of money. So, the current pensioners who are receiving their pensions from these schemes, well, their pension is paid from money from taxation and contributions from current employees. Now, there is one major exception in the public sector though and that's if you work for local government, it does have a fund of money and you can transfer out of that one.
Sarah Pennells: But just because you can transfer, presumably that doesn't mean that you should transfer, does it?
Clare Moffat: No, if you're in the local government pension or you've got a private-sector defined-benefit pension, so that's when someone knows how much they're going to receive when they do retire, it's generally assumed to be a bad idea. Now, that's because these pensions make this promise to pay you a regular payment for the rest of your life. Now, it's almost like getting your monthly salary except you'll get less, of course, and if you've got a husband or wife and they live longer than you then they will get a regular payment for their lives too, so that's a really valuable benefit to have.
Sarah Pennells: So, in this webinar we're gonna be concentrating on pension transfers if you have a defined-contribution pension, so that's the kind of pension that we and other pension providers offer. It's a pension where you build up a pot of money while you're working that you then can take an income from when you retire but if you have a final salary or another kind of defined-benefit pension and you'd like to find out more about that then the MoneyHelper website does have a guide to what to think about if you want to transfer a defined benefit pension. Now, MoneyHelper is an impartial website that's backed by the government so you can find a guide there. So, there are I think a number of reasons why it can make sense to transfer, now we're not gonna tell you what to do because we're not financial advisors but we will go through some of the most common pros and cons. So, one reason for transferring your pension is for lower charges, namely if the pension provider that you're moving your pensions to charges less than you're currently paying. I think, Clare, the question that, that, sort of, follows from that is how do you find out what you're currently paying in charges if, say, you've got two, three or four different pensions?
Clare Moffat: So, all pension providers apply a yearly charge for managing your pension and this is known as the annual-management charge, or you might see it as AMC. Now, that's taken automatically, so once a year or once a month, from the value of your pension savings. Now, I know that this might seem really complex but comparing the charges on your pension is important. Now, that information can be found in a variety of places, so perhaps online in the key features document, which would be the document you will have been given when you joined the pension, in the annual statement you'll get from the pension provider. It might be on the app if your pension provider has one. Now, if you have a workplace pension then the charges for the default fund, now that's where most people would be, have to be 0.75% or less of the total pot size. Now, the default fund is the fund that you will have been put into when you're automatically enrolled.
Sarah Pennells: But what does that mean? I mean, percentages aren't necessarily the easiest to compare.
Clare Moffat: Yeah, you're right. Actually percentages don't mean much to many of us because we actually like to see a pounds-and-pence amount but we do need to be able to compare the percentage of one scheme to the percentage of another scheme. That upper limit of 0.75% on charges, well it would mean if you had, let's say, £10,000 in your pension fund you would pay no more than £75 as an annual-management charge. Now, many providers with modern schemes will charge a similar percentage but you might have older-style, perhaps, personal pensions and they might be charging a lot more. And in fact one of the great things about workplace pensions is that they're generally quite transparent, so it's quite easy to see what charges apply, and that's that AMC that I just mentioned. Now, this is precisely to help people see what their charge is, even if they're not pensions experts.
Sarah Pennells: Okay, so say you have a workplace pension and you're gonna transfer other pensions, could you end up paying the same on all those pensions you transfer or could you end up paying more or indeed less?
Clare Moffat: Well, it can't be guaranteed but, as I mentioned, the default fund in a workplace scheme has to charge 0.75% or less as that annual-management charge and many are less than that. So, in a workplace pension everyone in the scheme pays the same charge as a percentage of how much money they have in their pot, so that's particularly beneficial to those people who don't have a huge pension pot at the moment. So, maybe they're young, maybe they've had career breaks or perhaps have started saving later, whatever the reason. Now, if you aren't in a workplace pension then one of the benefits of putting all of your pension money together is that often, well, the more you have in your pension pot the lower the charge as a percentage.
Sarah Pennells: So, this is quite a lot of information about charges we're sharing. How would that work in practice?
Clare Moffat: Okay, so let's think of an example. Say you have four pots of pension money from the past, from other schemes you've been in. Two of the pensions have £10,000 in them, one has £40,000, and another has £50,000. Now, you might be paying around 0.70% in charges for each of them so that would add up to £770. So, you might think, 'Well, there's no point in combining them.' But if you put them altogether in one of the pots you might only pay 0.50% in total because you have over £110,000 in one place, so that would be £550, so that's, that's a real saving. A pension provider might charge 0.70% in charges if you've got up to £100,000, but then it would reduce to 0.50% if you've got over £100,000, for example. But these rates and thresholds will vary from one pension company to another, so you would need to investigate and make sure that you aren't moving from a cheaper pension to a move expensive one.
Sarah Pennells: Okay, so let's look at another reason why you might want to transfer and that is the options that you get at retirement, so what might that include?
Clare Moffat: Well, some workplace pensions don't offer as much choice about how you can take money out of your pension at retirement. Now, they might only let you take all of the money out in one go so that could-, that could, could mean that you're actually paying a lot more tax than you should or they might only offer the chance to buy an annuity and that's when you use all of your pot and you convert it into a regular income for your and maybe your husband or wife's life. It might also not offer something that's called 'drawdown'. Now, ignore the terminology. All that drawdown means is that your pension money stays invested in a pot and you can take your tax-free cash and then you can maybe take some money monthly, like an income, perhaps because you've actually stopped working. Or you might just want to take your tax-free cash and leave the rest invested because you're still working and you don't actually need any monthly income. Or you might just want to take larger sums every now and then, so that might be because you or perhaps your spouse has one of those defined-benefit schemes we mentioned, and that could give enough monthly income for you for the everyday bills, but maybe you just want some extra money from time-to-time, so maybe for holidays or a new car, or, or for Christmas presents. Some pensions, well, they also might not offer the same choices to your family if you died and that could be really important to you, but, Sarah, what about the faff factor? This possible hassle of having different pots of money with different providers. Is that a genuine reason to think about transferring your pension or are there ways to streamline your pension admin?
Sarah Pennells: I think the faff factor is a really interesting one and I do-, I do believe it's a personal decision and for some people it can make a big difference having their pensions all in the same place, they can see exactly what they've got and having them dotted around could be a real barrier to thinking about their retirement but for other people it just isn't a problem at all. It is worth saying though if you are somebody who finds the admin a bit of a faff if you have your pensions dotted around, there is something called the Pensions Dashboard which is being rolled out from next year. Now, that's going to be an online dashboard that means you'll be able to see all your pensions in one place, even if they're from different pension providers. So, we've talked about charges, we've talked about the faff factor. What about investment choice, Clare?
Clare Moffat: Well, Sarah, it is important to remember that when you save into a pension your money is invested and different providers offer different investment options and you could benefit from a wider choice on where to invest your pension savings if you transfer.
Sarah Pennells: That's a good point but it's also worth thinking-, worth thinking about what your workplace pension offers. You mentioned, Clare, earlier on that most people who are in a workplace scheme are in the default fund and that's because that's the fund that you're put into if you don't actively decide to go elsewhere, but your workplace pension provider will offer funds as well, so that could be your starting point to look at what they offer. Having said that, some people do like the idea of actively managing, choosing their investments, and may want to transfer but bear in mind there may be additional investment charges that come with it.
Clare Moffat: That's right, Sarah, and you can think about the type of investment options based on your needs and objectives so, like, thinking about a provider's approach to responsible investment and environmental, social and governance factors. Now, these help investors measure the ethical and sustainability impact of a business or sector but it's important to repeat the point that your pension is invested and its value can go down as well as up, so there's no guarantee that combining your pension will give you a higher income when you retire or a bigger pension pot, because you could get back less than you pay in.
Sarah Pennells: So, we talked about some of the reasons why it might be worth thinking about transferring but let's look at some of the reasons why transferring may not be a good option or some of the things that you need to check before you think about transferring. So, there's a range of valuable benefits that some of the older-style pensions might have had. One that people may have heard of is called a guaranteed annuity rate. What's that?
Clare Moffat: That's right, Sarah. There are valuable benefits sometimes and combining your pensions can seem like a really good idea but you need to check that you aren't losing something that's really valuable. Now, you mentioned guaranteed annuity rates. You wouldn't see these on a modern pension but it was quite common in the past, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, so you might have it. Now, this is a guaranteed minimum level of income that a pension provider will pay when you start taking your pension savings and you convert your pot into a regular income for life. So, it's generally going to be higher with your existing provider than the rates available in the market when you retire.
Sarah Pennells: What are we talking about here? Are we just talking about a few extra pounds a month or could it be an extra chunk of money that's quite sizeable?
Clare Moffat: Well, I mean, it all depends on how much money you've got in your pot. So, common rates offered are around 9 to 11%. I, I have seen higher than that as well. Now, that's about double the best rate that most people can achieve now. So, well, what does that mean? Well, it means that for every £100 in the pension pot that you have, you get £9 or £11 as income a year compared with £5 for every £100 that you would get based on today's rates.
Sarah Pennells: Okay, so when else should people be careful?
Clare Moffat: Well, tax-free cash, that's definitely another one to think about. Now, that's the money you can take as a tax-free lump sum when you begin to take your pension. Now, it's currently set at 25% of the funds and I think it's something that most people are quite familiar with but some older pensions might allow you to take out a higher percentage of tax-free cash. Now, in some circumstances you can transfer this benefit to your new pension.
Sarah Pennells: What about the age that you can take your pension? Does that vary from provider to provider, or is that solely governed by rules and regulations?
Clare Moffat: Well, currently your can't take money out of your pension before you're 55 unless you're seriously or terminally ill, and that will be 57 by 2028, and that is a regulatory-, you know, that comes from legislation. But some people do have the right to take it earlier, now that could be because of the type of job you did and you can keep this, right, if you transfer, but some rules do apply. If you're taking financial advice it is really important here to make sure that you don't lose this right. Now, of course it doesn't mean that you have to take your pension when you're younger, it just means that you can if you want to. Now, you might have also heard of something called a loyalty bonus and normally to get that bonus you have to keep the money in that fund. Another one to watch out for is if you're currently an employee and you don't want to stay in an employer's scheme then you'd need to check that any employee benefits like a contribution from the employer, if you would still get that if you moved to another pension, because you wouldn't want to lose out on that. So, financial advice can be crucial on working out whether you'll lose valuable benefits or perhaps if you can transfer but still keep these benefits.
Sarah Pennells: And there's another idea why keeping your pensions where they are could be a better option, isn't there?
Clare Moffat: Yes. If you've got any pensions below £10,000 and you might want to take money out of them, so you're at the age where you can access your pensions, but you would still want to save into pensions, then transferring into one big pot might not be a good idea for you.
Sarah Pennells: So, what happens if you've been through the pros and cons and you think, 'Right, I want to transfer one or more of my pensions,' can you just go ahead and do it?
Clare Moffat: No. So, there are some situations where you must get financial advice before making a pension transfer.
Sarah Pennells: And what-, why is that? Why do you need to take this financial advice?
Clare Moffat: Well, it's worth remembering that these rules are designed to protect people from being worse off by transferring, so these rules apply if you've got a defined-benefit pension, we spoke about them earlier, that's worth £30,000 or more, and you want to transfer to a defined-contribution pension. So, that's going from where, you know, you're being promised a certain amount on retirement and you want to move it to where you're just going to have a, a pot of money, and it's up to you with what you do at retirement. A defined-contribution pension that's worth more than £30,000 but with a guarantee about what you'll be paid when you retire, so we just discussed that a moment ago, and you would lose this benefit by transferring, so that's the-, kind of the two situations there.
Sarah Pennells: Okay. Clare, I think that's really helpful and I'm aware that we've thrown a lot of information around about charges and pros and cons, and things to think about. So, let's just do another poll before we move onto questions. It's 'who has thought about combining your pensions'? Please vote now in our poll. I'll just leave it a moment while the results come through, so-, okay, well in some ways I guess it may not be surprising bearing in mind this webinar is all about pension transfers, but 95% currently have thought about transferring-, just slipping slightly as I'm talking, so about 5/6% say they haven't but the vast majority have thought about it. As I said, obviously, this is a webinar about pension transfers so it kind of makes sense but we'll just give the results a moment to, to, to settle still. Any thoughts, Clare, on that? On the fact that that percentage is-, well, it's pretty high, isn't it?
Clare Moffat: It is quite high and I'm not surprised because I often get asked questions by my own friends actually when they're talking about they've moved jobs, they don't really understand how things work, and can they move all of their pots together? So, I think it is something that often we want to, you know, think about different admin elements of our lives and how we can make it better but we are a bit worried about, well, you know, might we lose anything? So, it's definitely something that we are asked a lot about.
Sarah Pennells: Yeah, okay. So, it's settled down. 94% said they had thought about it and 6% haven't. So, Clare, you mentioned a moment ago, just before we did the poll, about getting financial advice, why it's a good idea to get financial advice and what you could lose by not having it. So, is it a good idea to get financial advice from an advisor if you are thinking of transferring your pension, no matter what the circumstances are?
Clare Moffat: Well, an advisor will consider your whole life. They'll look at your needs, wants, income, the type of risk you're willing to take and they'll-, they can also look-, if you've got a spouse, they would look at both of your lives. They would then look at potential solutions and we're not just talking about, you know, pensions here, we would be talking about different investments as well. They'd look at pros and cons before drawing up a list of options and providers, and making a recommendation. But if you're younger and you've only got small pots of pension and you're not likely to have some of these, these benefits that I've mentioned earlier, then, you know, it, it might be more difficult to find an advisor and it's more likely, as I'm-, you know, it's more likely you're not going to have some of these guarantees and you're only going to have these defined-contribution pensions. So, in that situation then it's probably easier just to try and look at your pensions yourself, compare them, look at the charges, and work out if transferring is a good idea. But as your pots grow over the years I would always recommend financial advice. Now, I, I mentioned the legal requirements for getting advice when you make a transfer and, and at Royal London we really believe in the value of financial advice. Even if there isn't that legal need, you could benefit from taking advice before making a transfer.
Sarah Pennells: Great stuff. Well, thanks very much Clare. So, we've had loads of questions coming in, which is fantastic. Thank you very much first of all for submitting your questions. So, I'm gonna go down from the most popular ones and work my way down, so the first question I think I'll take actually, that's from Susan and it says-, Susan says, 'I think I had a pension with my old employer but I can't find the paperwork, how do I find out if I have any money in it?' And Susan, it's a really good question and it's one I think, again, that lots of people have. So, there's a couple of thoughts on that. Firstly, if you know who your employer is and that's not meant to be as stupid as it sounds, I mean, your employer may have been taken, taken over. So, if you've got contact details for your employer then contact them, you don't necessarily need to have pension paperwork for them to find out whether you've got a pension with them or not, so that's one option but if you think, 'Well, actually it was so many years ago I don't even know who the employer is or I don't know who the pension provider is,' then there is a, a government website or government service called 'The Pension Tracing Service' which is completely free to use and if you go onto the gov.uk website you'll find that what comes up is basically you can type in the name of your employer or your pension provider, so the last name that you knew for them and it will give you the up-to-date contact details. So, what this service doesn't do is basically scurry around and find out if you've got a pension and tell you how much it is, but it will give you the up-to-date contact details either of the pension company or the employer but you can then contact them.
It is worth saying that if you're looking for the Pension Tracing Service, do make sure you go onto the gov.uk website because there are sometimes other services that may charge you but the government service is free to use. Clare, I don't know whether you've got anything to add to that whilst I just take a quick look at the other questions that are coming in.
Clare Moffat: Yeah, no I think just the same that it's-, I think there's a few questions that are, kind of, covering off this actually that, you know, people lose track of their pensions, you move house, you try to, you know, tidy up, get rid of paperwork and things so this is-, you know, it's, it's not uncommon at all. Now, it will help when we do have the Pensions Dashboard because we will be able to see those pensions that we have in one place but definitely, as you mentioned, you know, if you-, if you can't find or you know you had pensions but you can't find any information, then that's a great step to take.
Sarah Pennells: Good stuff. Well, we had a couple of other questions from people that were along similar lines, I think Robert and Douglas, so hopefully we've answered that for you as well. So, we have another question now which is from Mark and he says, 'Hi, I want to make it easier for my wife if I die first. Is that a good reason to put all my pension pots together?'
Clare Moffat: So, I would think, you know, that's a bit-, thinking about almost, like, making admin a bit easier. Now, I think lots of us-, well, I do all the finances in our household, so that was definitely a reason when I was thinking about this that, you know, I kind of thought, 'I do all the finances, if I died tomorrow my husband would have no idea,' so not only did I want to, kind of, write down everything that we had and make sure that he would know but I wanted to, kind of, streamline it a little bit and make sure that he understood. I, you know, there's also reasons why that sometimes, you know, I, I mentioned that the death benefits might not be as good in, in one pension as in another pension, so that's another reason to have a look at it. So, I, I definitely think it's a reason to look at it. It comes back to that, you know, the, the same story, make sure you're not losing any valuable benefits, you know, just double-check everything that there is but, you know, it's, it's certainly a valid reason, to make sure that when the most awful thing happens then life is made a little bit more easy on the admin side.
Sarah Pennells: Yep. So, as you say, there are definitely things to think about that you, you know, to make sure you don't lose valuable benefits, some of the ones that we've outlined but also possibly worth considering, and I think maybe one other thought which is just around death admin, to give it a very, sort of, not very pleasant term. But actually thinking about making life easier for those you leave behind. And I think these days because so many of us live our lives online, certainly our, you know, our financial lives are often online, it's having that record of what you have, so it doesn't obviously mean passwords and things but, you know, accounts that you have and, you know, pensions that you have so that whoever is, is left behind and, and has to sort out the legal and financial affairs at least knows what you had. It's, it's something that I think if you've been through it you realise how useful it is, if you actually know what you're supposed to be dealing with rather than trying to track down things as well. So, that would be maybe just another thing to, to think about. So-,
Clare Moffat: Yeah. Probably just one point just to mention as well, I take this opportunity that remember to keep your expression-of-wish forms up to date, so it can be called different things for different companies but that's the form when you would say what you would like to happen to your pension when, when you die. So, make sure-, I've often seen these forms that are twenty years out of date so, you know, make sure you put down what you would like to happen. Yeah.
Sarah Pennells: That's a really good tip. Now, you've said it can be called different things, are there any other common names that people might?
Clare Moffat: Yeah, so sometimes 'benefit nomination', yeah, so you'll just, kind of, see different things. They would probably be the most common that you would see.
Sarah Pennells: Yep, and I think it's a really good tip because sometimes people think about updating their will if-, if they have them in the first place, they think about updating their will if their personal circumstances change but because their pension doesn't form part of their will they're not necessarily thinking about updating their pension wishes, so good tip. So, we've had an anonymous question in now which is 'I want to take all of my tax-free cash out when I'm 55 but I don't want to pay any tax as I'm still working. Can I keep different pensions and take all of them?'
Clare Moffat: So, the answer to that one is if you-, you know, I mentioned that, kind of, drawdown term that if you moved into drawdown then you could take 25% tax-free cash and then leave the rest invested and not take any of that, so you wouldn't be paying any tax because as soon as you start taking income then it does just sit on top of your taxable income-, taxable earnings. So, you know, a lot of people as soon as they can access their pensions will take only their tax-free cash and move the rest into drawdown. Now, you've mentioned keeping different pensions. You can take that from each of them. So, say you have three different pensions, if they all allow moving into drawdown and keeping some of it invested, or it might be that you are taking the tax-free cash and buying an annuity, it, kind of, you know, it depends, but if you're still working then you could take 25% of each of those different pensions. So, they are just three defined-contribution pensions you can take your tax-free cash and then leave the rest invested in drawdown and that means that you just then start taking the income when you stop working or when you need to take it so you're not going to be taxed because you're only going to take the tax-free cash.
Sarah Pennells: And I think it's just worth maybe, sort of, repeating. So, it might sound obvious but the tax-free cash means what it says on the tin, that is tax-free, and if you just take that it doesn't matter how much you're earning, you're, you're going to not pay tax on it.
Clare Moffat: Yes, that's correct. There, there is another way to take money from pensions when you can take a kind of cash lump sum but the problem with taking that is there's 25% that's taxed at zero but the other 75% has to come with it and so then that is taxable income, so that doesn't work if you don't want to be taking that income and if you don't want to be paying tax.
Sarah Pennells: And one other thing you mentioned, you said that if you go into drawdown-, I'm just aware that we're, sort of, throwing around some, some bit of terminology here. So, you said if you go into drawdown, so that's where you can take bits of money to generate an income, for example, that-, but-, and not the tax-free cash, you said it sits on top of your income, so just explain what you mean by that.
Clare Moffat: Yes, so if-, say I earned £40,000 a year and I wanted to take my 25% tax-free cash from my £100,000 fund. So, I can take £25,000 but if then I decided to take some income then and if I wanted to take, say, £15,000 and that £15,000 is going to sit on top of my £40,000 of earnings, so it's going to be putting me into the higher-rate tax bracket, which probably is not what I want to be doing. Normally you want to be, kind of, making sure you're paying the least tax possible, so that's what happens. As soon as you start taking the, kind of, income amount off that then you're going to be taxed on it. Now, you don't have to take if you've got £100,000 in your pension fund, you don't have to take £25,000 and then leave the rest invested. You can, sort of, take a little bit of tax-free cash at a time, so you could maybe take-, we'll have, sort of, £10,000 of tax-free cash just now and some of that money moves into drawdown. Or you can, you know, just, kind of, work it out like that and it depends if you're working, if you're not working what you want to do.
Sarah Pennells: Yes, so it's important to say just because you can take 25% tax-free, you don't have to take that in one go.
Clare Moffat: Definitely.
Sarah Pennells: Okay. So, we've got another question that's come in from Lisa who says, 'Can I transfer money from pensions to a pension that I'm no longer paying into?'
Clare Moffat: So, yes, it's just about assessing the different pensions and looking what they all offer, so perhaps there is a pension that you think-, so, you know, it's perhaps one you've had in the past and you think, 'Well, actually that offers me something that the pension I'm in currently doesn't offer.' As long as that pension is still open-, so if it's an older pension scheme sometimes they do shut them so you just have to, kind of, check that that's still available. Also if it's a bit older, are the charges higher? So, it's just about looking and trying to compare the different pensions on a, kind of, like-for-like basis. What are the charges? What does that offer that I'm not getting just now? But as long as the pension scheme will accept that money then you can move into it.
Sarah Pennells: And this may sound like a stupid question but you mentioned that some of the older-style pensions, they may have closed, would you have been told about that, is that something you'd know about or would you just find out if you asked if you could transfer?
Clare Moffat: Yes. You normally would have been told because they would really say, 'We're no longer accepting contributions,' and the reason they might have closed is because they actually setup a new, kind of, auto-enrolment, perhaps a new workplace pension scheme that just works a bit differently or perhaps that provider has been taken over by another provider. There's lots of reasons why they might close. Now, I am talking about the defined-contribution world here so that is when we're thinking about those pots of money, and if it's a defined-benefit pension that you're mentioning then defined-benefit schemes will not allow any money to be paid into them, most of these schemes are closed. If it's a public-sector scheme then you can't transfer any money into that. So, you know, when I'm answering that question, I should have made that clear probably earlier, it is thinking about that defined contribution, that pot of money that you grow that I'm talking about there.
Sarah Pennells: So, the earlier example we mentioned, sort of, almost at the start of the webinar of the, kind of, the nurse, the firefighter, the teacher. If you had a pension there you couldn't transfer your, sort of, defined-contribution pots into that kind of pension?
Clare Moffat: No, you can-, you can transfer it. Say, you're a teacher, you can move into another public-sector scheme sometimes if you move to a different part of the public sector but not-, you cannot transfer from one of these kind of pots, like defined-contribution schemes, into a public sector. And also for private sector DB schemes then most of them will not accept any money in. That would just be, kind of, standard practice.
Sarah Pennells: Yeah. Great stuff, thank you. So, we've had an anonymous question which is, 'What would happen to my pension pot when I die as I don't have a partner or children? Does it just die with me or can I allocate beneficiaries?'
Clare Moffat: So, again, if we're thinking about this defined-contribution world where you've got this pot of cash then you would nominate-, in that form I mentioned, you would say who you would want to receive the benefits. So, that could be anyone. You can pick whoever you would like to receive the benefits. It can be an individual, it can be a trust. It has to be a living person or a trust, though I have seen someone's dog be nominated and that is not allowable. So, (talking over each other 35.21).
Sarah Pennells: My dogs would love that if they got their pension.
Clare Moffat: I know. I know. You would have to nominate someone to look after your dogs if, if that was the case but yeah. So, you can choose who would receive them. Now, the only thing I would say is that sometimes when you're in an older workplace pension scheme there are scenarios where it's only a spouse or a partner who'd benefit on your death, and that fund would be used to buy an annuity for them. So, double-check, because death benefits are important to people. If it's a kind of modern scheme you'll have the full choice that the law allows but some older schemes, they had the, the, the capacity to change, the law allowed them to change, but it was kind of easier for them to, to run as they did. So, it might be the case that if you didn't have a partner or children, then it wouldn't go to anyone. So, double-check what type of pension it is, you know, but if it's a modern kind of it's a workplace pension, for example, that your employer pays into, normally they would allow that pension pot to be paid to anyone, so you would just choose. So, it's really important to keep your expression-of-wish form up to date though.
Sarah Pennells: So, thanks Clare. So, we've got a question from Janelle who says, 'Will the Pensions Dashboard help people locate old pensions and when will it go live?'
Clare Moffat: So, it should be able to help, that's the idea is that actually people are going to be able to see what pensions they have and it's, you know, also going to have the state pension as well on it. So, it should be a really useful tool for people to see in, kind of, a snapshot what will happen. When will it go live? Well, that's probably a good question. I think we're looking at it starting to go live from 2023. It depends and not-, you won't see everything on it to begin with, so larger pensions will go on that first, especially if you, you know, are, kind of, have public-sector pensions for example then, you know, they'll be going on but you might find if you're in a, a kind of smaller, perhaps an old private-sector defined-benefit scheme then that might take a couple of years longer to go on, for example.
Sarah Pennells: Yep, so I think it's important to say it's kind of going to be a bit of a phased roll out, isn't it? So, you're not necessarily going to see everything from day one, but we will probably start seeing more publicity about it ahead of the, the beginning of the roll out next year, so I think we'll, we'll definitely be hearing and seeing a bit more about the Pensions Dashboard. So, thanks for your question, Janelle. I've got a question now from Paul who wants to know, 'Can I transfer a pot worth over £30,000 from another pension provider?' So, I think this is going over something that we talked about pretty much at the start of the webinar.
Clare Moffat: Yes. So, that's-, so, yes but if you are transferring it and it had some of these, these benefits, so we mentioned this scenario where it was a, a defined-benefit scheme, if it was over £30,000, or if it had a guaranteed annuity rate, then you would need to take financial advice. If it's not, if it's just another, say, workplace pension scheme that's defined-contribution, so it's that pot of money, then you wouldn't need to take financial advice, so you can just move that quite easily.
Sarah Pennells: Okay and two things to say on that, so you mentioned if it was this, this pot of money, a defined-contribution, an older-style one where it might have valuable benefits. So, is that something that, you know, you would be able to find out by looking at the paperwork or ringing the pension provider, or is that something a financial advisor-, how would you know whether you would need the financial advisor in the first place or could you just not do the transfer?
Clare Moffat: That's a great point. Your paperwork should be able to tell you, if it doesn't tell you then the provider will be able to tell you, so it's worth giving them a phone to find out.
Sarah Pennells: Great stuff. Well, thanks for the question Paul. Michelle has asked a question saying, 'I have two pensions that I no longer contribute to, can I transfer them into an active pension pot?'
Clare Moffat: Yeah, so I think that's, you know, what we've just covered. It depends what type of pensions, if they are just defined-contribution pensions with no guarantees then you can easily move them into your other pension pot but, you know, back to what we said at the beginning, make sure you're not losing any valuable benefits, make sure you're comparing the charges. If your active pension pot is likely to be, you know, especially that will be if it's a workplace scheme then, you know, it has to be under that 0.75% for the default fund. It might be the other two pensions you've got are personal pensions, they might be higher charges, so it could save money on charges moving into the new one, but just double-check what those two pensions are. So, again, just look at your paperwork, if it's not clear phone up the provider, they will be more than used to dealing with questions on this.
Sarah Pennells: Great stuff. Okay. Thank you for that, Michelle. And we've got another question which is from Sally saying-, and she asks, 'Do I have to be over the age of 55 to transfer my pensions?'
Clare Moffat: No. So, you can transfer your pension at any point in, in time. You don't have to be over 55, you just have to be over 55 to be able to take money out of your pensions, so your tax-free cash or to start any-, taking any income. So, that's-, that-, what that 55, which will be 57 in 2028. So, again, that's not something that I think is-, you know, we've seen some stuff in the press about it but it's one to be aware of for the younger people who are listening that they might not be able to access until 55 but for transferring, you can transfer at any age. So, if you are 25 and you've, you know, you've moved to your second job then you can move the pot of money you had from your first job, for example.
Sarah Pennells: And it is just probably worth reminding people about one of the benefits that you said it was a good idea to check about which is the age at which you can take your pension, as you mentioned there the age being 55, rising to 57 by 2028, but with some pensions they may have slightly different rules so, again, just a reminder to check not just charges and investment choice but also the age-, the-, and the valuable benefits but also the age at which you can take your pension. So, a really good question. Thanks very much, Sally. So, onto the next question which is from Allison and she'd like to know, 'If my employer changed the workplace-pension provider, can I transfer my pot from the old workplace-pension provider to the new provider?'
Clare Moffat: So, if your employer is changing the pension provider then that's-, they're kind of moving everybody from, from one provider to the other, so it's the employer setup the scheme and it's just the provider that's changing, so you shouldn't actually have to, kind of, physically do anything in, in, in, you know, in that situation but they should be giving you information. So, your employer will be talking about, kind of, what's happening and what this process means for you. So, I'd have a look at anything that's coming out paperwork-wise just so you know, kind of, what's happening.
Sarah Pennells: Okay, thank you. So, we've got an anonymous question, I, I think it's a really good one as well though which is, 'Where can I find a financial advisor?' So, do you want to make a start on that one, Clare?
Clare Moffat: Yes, so, I mean, there is different places you can look, there's different things like, kind of, Unbiased, there's different organisations you can look at to try and find a financial advisor who's use local to you, you know, it's worth doing, you know, kind of, researching this because-, and, and even meeting up with some people. Because if you're going to get financial advice they are going to look at all of your life, you want to build up a relationship, this could be someone that you're going to see for a long time. So, actually spending the time and finding someone that, you know, actually you can kind of like and you trust then that's important. But I do know it feels tricky sometimes, people are like, 'Well, I don't know anyone,' but it's good to sometimes ask friends and family as well but there are different sites that you can use to try and find a, a, a financial advisor as well.
Sarah Pennells: Yep, and you mentioned Unbiased, that's one website and there are-, there are other places that you can find a financial advisor, so I think it depends a bit on what you're looking for and maybe what stage of your life you're at. So, the MoneyHelper has a, a directory of advisors who specialise in retirement, there's another website I think called VouchedFor which is-, has reviews of customers of, of providers and I think the Personal Finance Society has its own directory. Now, we've got an article on RoyalLondon.com which talks about where to find a financial advisor and also there's one that talks about the kind of things to think about before you see an advisor. And you mentioned, Clare, about, you know, meeting or talking to and advisor and why it's important to do that, and I agree, I think it's something that, you know, it's not the kind of thing that most of us do very regularly and it can be a little bit daunting but I think it's a good idea to, sort of, think about the kind of questions you want to ask and, sort of, maybe treat it a bit like a job interview because, as you say, you could be having this professional relationship with somebody for a very long time and you could be telling them quite, you know, quite personal stuff about what you think about money, what your goals are, what your aspirations are, as well as how you spend your money. So, definitely spend a bit of time talking to the advisor and getting a feel for them as well as, sort of, looking at things like, you know, sort of, the areas they specialise in. That would be my, my, my tip. Okay, we've had-,
Clare Moffat: Yeah but-,
Sarah Pennells: Sorry, go on Clare.
Clare Moffat: I, I was just going to say that if you're a couple looking for financial advice, it's important that the two of you actually, kind of, find someone you're both happy with because, you know, if-, when the death of a partner happens your financial advisor can take on loads of the admin involved in dealing with things like death and, and other things that have to be done but you want to make sure it's someone that both of you trust and both of you feel comfortable. So, I think that's really important, kind of, on a family basis to have someone, not just someone who, kind of, you know, one person likes or trusts.
Sarah Pennells: I think that's a really good tip, even if one of you tends to take a bit more of a lead in certain areas of finance because we often find that, you know, maybe couples divide the kind of financial side of things. So, even if you're a bit less involved, for example, it's still important to go along, so a really good tip. So, we've had another question, this one is from Seraphine and-, who wants to know, 'Can you transfer only to your current pension scheme or can you transfer to old schemes if they're more beneficial?' So, I think we've, sort of, covered this in one of the earlier questions but I think it's really worth reiterating as well because this is important stuff to get right. So, what's the situation, Clare?
Clare Moffat: So, if schemes are open then you can normally transfer to them, so that's, you know-, and when I say schemes I just mean pensions. So, it's just about checking that if it is going to be more beneficial, if you think it is more beneficial, then they just have to be able to accept the money, so that's it.
Sarah Pennells: And just, just to recap on some of the things we talked about, so we talked about charges, we talked about options at retirement, tax-free cash, investments, and the age at which you can take your pension, I think.
Clare Moffat: Yep, yep.
Sarah Pennells: And then also you mentioned some of the areas that people need to look at to make sure they're not gonna lose those benefits, you mentioned the guaranteed annuity rate and also the loyalty bonuses were a couple that, that you mentioned. So, definitely worth doing all those checks or talking to a financial advisor even if you can transfer, so-,
Clare Moffat: Yeah and you don't need to move, you know, say you've got six pots you don't have to move them into one pot, that's, you know, it's, it's not about doing that either. Sometimes you can actually-, you know, if you decide, 'Well, actually I quite want, kind of, money in this for this reason or I want it-, and sometimes you have to, in certain scenarios-, to do with those valuable benefits I spoke about, sometimes you have to open a new pension scheme, which is just the way, kind of, the law works. So, there are situations where even if you decide to, you know, to transfer your pensions perhaps because it's going to make the admin better, the charges might be lower, you might still end up with not just one scheme but you might end up just with, you know, a couple of pensions.
Sarah Pennells: Okay, good stuff. So, we had a question from Michelle. Again, I think we may have covered this but it's always worth reiterating, which is, 'What type of pensions can be grouped together? As in-, and, and she says, 'NHS/council pensions.' So, I guess that's, kind of, which kinds of, sort of, the similar, similar kind of pension.
Clare Moffat: Yeah, so when we think about NHS and council pensions, they come under that umbrella of public-sector pension schemes and so I would, kind of, think about them as a group and then we've got private-sector defined-benefit schemes which are similar in that they've got that kind of promise to pay. You won't find many of them open anymore but you might have them from the past. And then we've got defined contribution which is, you know, most modern schemes, most people starting a job now that's what you would have, you pay in, your employer pays in, of course you get the benefits of tax relief as well, and then at the time you start taking pensions it's up to you to manage how you take that money out to last until you-, until you die or until your spouse dies or how-, you know, what you would like to happen. So, that's kind of how I would think of them in, kind of, groupings. When I spoke about the public sector, just as a reminder, most public-sector schemes you cannot transfer money out of them, they are not funded, there's no pot of money that can leave the scheme so that's not how it works. You'd, you'd stay in those, so even if you leave-, say you are a doctor in the NHS and you stop working in the NHS and you go to be a doctor in the private sector then your NHS pension is still there, it doesn't go away and you can access it at retirement, but you can't move it anywhere else because of it being in that. If you've got a council or a local government scheme then theoretically you could move it but that promise to pay is, you know, it's a very valuable benefit so that's, you know, and you have to take financial advice on it, and actually for most people having a guaranteed benefit like that which goes up every year is worth its weight in gold.
Sarah Pennells: Yeah, good point. So, we've had another question which is, 'I got divorced from my husband and I get some money every month from his pension. When I stop work, can I move that money into my other work pension?'
Clare Moffat: So, this is an interesting one and it opens up a huge can of worms about divorce which I could go on about for ages and you really don't want to hear me talking about that at length now. I think from, from this question it looks like that when you got divorced there was an arrangement setup and it would have been called an 'attachment order' or an 'earmarking order' that you would get, say, for example, 50% of your ex-husband's pension when he retired, and so every month money comes into your bank and that's from his pension. Now, legally he still owns that pension, you're just getting some of that money out, so you can have that-, you know, move that into your other pension. But even if it was a different type of way in which pensions are dealt with on divorce, called pensions sharing, that-, what happens then is you, you would own the pension, so you would say get 50% of the fund, so that pot of money, and you can do, you know, what-, you move it to where you want it to be and then when you take it, at age 55 or whenever, it's up to you to, you know, to choose. But there are complications with pensions. So, you can't just maybe move it into the same pot if there's been a divorce, just because the way, kind of, the technicality of how it all works. So, it would normally not be able to move it into the same pension as your other, but you can move it to the same provider but it probably will notionally be held in a- in a separate type account.
Sarah Pennells: Okay, great. Great stuff. And I say, I know that you know a lot about pensions and divorce, and maybe that's a subject for another-, for another, another webinar another day but anyway. Let's go to another question which is from Laura, and she wants to know what year did automatic enrolment into pensions begin. So, I'll kick-off with this one. So, it's coming up to it's tenth anniversary because it actually started being phased in from October 2012, but that was, like, the biggest employers who first started automatically enrolling their employees and then it moved over a period of years through to the smallest employers and, you know, and new employers. So, it's been with us for a while but I guess, Clare, it's really in the last, sort of, six years or so that it's, kind of, got more momentum because we've had, you know, we've, we've-, well, we've had millions of people automatically enrolled.
Clare Moffat: Definitely and we can see that auto-enrolment has been a big success. We've got more people paying into pensions than ever and that's really great news because, you know, we all have a retirement income need and when we retire we need to be able to have some money so that we can enjoy our retirement and, you know, in our last session we kind of spoke about that idea of thinking what you would like to have in your retirement and making sure that you're saving enough into pensions, so auto-enrolment has really helped with that. And it will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years. I think there will probably be some changes to auto-enrolment. It might start when people are younger, just now that it, it, kind of, is 22 so perhaps we'll see it at 18. So, I think we will see some changes but I think we can all agree that it has been really great.
Sarah Pennells: Yep. We were talking about the faff factor earlier on in terms of having lots of different pensions around but, you know, there was a bit of a faff factor before, certainly for some people of, of signing up for a pension in the first place and, as you say, automatic enrolment has sort of taken that away. You don't actually have to do anything active, although obviously you can leave if you want to. But you are put into your workplace pension scheme as long as you, kind of, meet the qualifying criteria and, as you say, that sort of changed the saving habits of, of millions of people. So, okay, I think we've got time for just a couple more questions or, or, or one or two. We'll see how we go with the answers, Clare. No pressure. So, again, we've got another one which is about NHS, so we may have covered this but I think it's always good to reiterate. So, there's a question from Wayne saying he has three old pensions, he now works for the NHS and has a current NHS pension, can he transfer it to the NHS pension?
Clare Moffat: So, the answer is probably no because it is a public-sector pension, it's really unlikely, and especially because they're older pensions that I mentioned that sometime you can move other public sector pensions, it's-, there's kind of a light limited time frame. It's something called 'the transfer club', so if it is, kind of, public-sector pensions and you're within a certain time then it's worth asking, phoning up the NHS pension, or if you're in Scotland the SPPA who'd be the people that would send you out the literature. But I think if there are three older pensions and they weren't public-sector pensions, then the answer is probably no for that one.
Sarah Pennells: Okay. We'll sneak in one last question as we're-, as we're coming up to the end of the-, of our time. So, it's from Maria who says, 'I started to work at a company in January, I previously worked for nine years until 2016. How do I check the amount paid in so I know how much I can transfer?'
Clare Moffat: So, you should get an annual statement every year which will say how much money you have in a pension, so even when you're no longer actively a member of that pension scheme every year you'll have to get information out. You might be able to have an app that shows you how much so you can just go in and look at how much you've got in that pension but if it's an older pension that you've, you know, you worked in for a while you might need to get in touch with the pension provider. If you can find any literature that's got the name of the pension provider and you know the name of the employer then you can give them a phone, ask how much you've got and then you can ask about transferring as well.
Sarah Pennells: Great stuff. Well, thank you very much. That is all we have time for in today's webinar. Thanks so much for all your questions and for taking part in the polls. It's really appreciated. Thanks Clare very much for answering all the questions. We have recorded the webinar and that will be available online and we'll be sharing the link with you very soon. Do let us know about other topics that you'd like us, like us to cover in future webinars because we're keen to make sure that the webinars cover topics you're interested in but for now thanks very much for joining us today.