Everyone’s circumstances are different and transferring your pension savings has both risks and benefits. There’s no guarantee that a pension transfer will give you a higher income at retirement.
Have a listen to our short educational video to understand what a pension transfer might mean for you and to help you 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, we’ll check and let you know.
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. We’ll check this and let you know if yours is protected.
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.
Why bring your workplace pensions together with us?
Keep it simple
Most people end up with more than one pension but having your pension in one place makes life simpler.
Plan for the future
Having your pension savings in one place means it’s easier to see if you’re on track for the retirement you want. And with our mobile app or online service, it’s also easy to manage your pension savings.
No additional charges if you choose to transfer to us
We’ll transfer your pension savings into your new plan with us at no extra cost.
A potential boost from us to you.
Helping you make the right decision
- Do your research - You'll receive your transfer pack from us which you can read along with all of our other content to help you understand your options and decide if a pension transfer is right for you.
- Listen to our educational video - Learn more about what you need to consider.
- Then make your decision – It's very important you understand and think about the advantages and disadvantages to make sure a pension transfer is the right option for you. Remember that investment returns are never guaranteed. So while your savings could grow, their value can also go down. This means you could get back less than you put in. Transferring may not be in your best interests as you may lose valuable benefits which can’t be replaced. If you're still unsure after reading the content, we recommend you speak to a financial adviser.
Made your decision?
Once you’ve reviewed your pack, if you decide transferring is right for you, you can use our mobile app to tell us you want to go ahead - it's simple and quick. Then leave it to us to sort everything else.
Before you start, you'll need:
Your previous pension plan number and the name of your previous pension provider to start the confirmation process on our mobile app.
In this short video we'll show you how our app can help you transfer your previous pension with your current employer, once you've received a transfer pack from 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 workplace 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 will be in touch with you if we need any more information.
Download the app today
Our mobile app isn’t just about showing you what you’ve got - it’s about helping you plan for your future and putting the power in your hands. Literally.
Why trust us with your future?
Founded in 1861, we’re the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company. Our excellent customer service and our mutuality means we can give customers that little bit more, and you can trust us to be there for you when it counts.
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If you'd like to find out more about pension transfers, getting financial advice or learn more about pensions, take a look at our articles and guides.
Defined Benefit pensions – The pros and cons of transferring
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What is a pension?
Here you’ll find a quick guide to the different types of pension and the benefits of saving for retirement.