When you combine pensions, you move the pensions you have to one single plan. You might be gaining more convenience and additional features from one single pension, but you might be giving valuable things up. So please look at the questions below to see whether this is the right choice.
What could I be giving up?
Some pensions have valuable benefits and features you might not want to lose. So please check if they apply to you, and think carefully about them, if they do.
If you don’t know, don’t worry. We have a template letter you can send to, or talk over with, your present provider so they can supply you with the answers you need.
If you’re still unsure about whether to give these features up or not, you should seek financial advice. If you’re not sure whether these apply, ask your provider.
Do your pensions have any ‘protections’?
We strongly recommend you seek financial advice if the pensions you want to combine have any of these:
- Do your pensions have any fund guarantees or bonuses?
Your existing pensions may have guaranteed benefits, such as a guaranteed growth or bonus rate, a loyalty bonus or a fund bonus. You could lose some or all of these if you combine with us.
- Do your pensions have life cover, critical illness cover or waiver of premium?
Your existing plan may have additional life insurance policies, which may be more expensive or impossible to replace elsewhere.
What do I need to consider?
You could be moving into something new
When you combine pensions with us, it will be into either a Scottish Widows workplace pension, which your employer currently pays into, or a Retirement Account. If you don’t have either of these, you’ll need to set up a new Retirement Account. We can help you do this by phone.
Look at the charges you pay for managing your existing plan and compare them with ours to see whether you are paying more, or less.
Are there any exit charges?
These are charges your existing provider may take from your pension before transferring it to us.
If your existing pension is invested in With Profits they may take a charge or you may lose guarantees or bonuses when you transfer. There may be a reduction in value if you transfer from a With Profits pension. This is known as a market value reduction.
For existing workplace pension and Retirement Account customers, your transfer payment will be invested in the same way as the current investment options. You can switch funds, without charge, to other funds if they better suit your needs and your attitude to risk.
If you are taking out a new Retirement Account, see whether Scottish Widows offer investment funds that are suitable for your needs. Take a look at Scottish Widows investment approaches.
One way to compare the difference in pension plans is to look at their ‘illustrations’. These will help you understand different potential fund performance and what you might get back at retirement.
- To get an illustration from your present provider, contact them with your pension details.
- To get an illustration from Scottish Widows, please call 0345 608 0378 (Lines are open Monday to Thursday 9am–8pm, Friday 9am–6pm and Saturday 9am–1pm).
Make sure, when you are looking at illustrations, you take any difference in the assumptions into account, for example that the retirement date is the same.
What will I get?
When you combine your pension pots using Scottish Widows’ free service, you have:
- Simplicity: Less statements and time spent trying to manage multiple pensions, and more time to plan what’s right for your future.
- Flexibility for the future: We allow access to flexibility on how you take your money once you reach 55, using our Retirement Account.
- Award winning service: Scottish Widows has 200 years’ experience in helping customers reach their goals for the future.