Does your pension qualify for a transfer?

The transfer process enables you to transfer an old pension into your Scottish Widows Workplace Pension or Retirement Account.

You can transfer online if:

  • You have a Scottish Widows Workplace Pension or a Scottish Widows Retirement Account
  • The pension that you want to transfer does NOT have certain types of guarantees
  • The pension that you want to transfer is NOT a defined benefit (sometimes called a 'final salary') pension
  • The pension you want to transfer is NOT part of a block transfer
  • The pension you want to transfer is NOT part of a pension sharing order
  • The pension you want to transfer does NOT have employer contributions currently being paid into it
  • The pension you want to transfer is NOT already in drawdown
  • You are a UK tax payer and live in the UK.

Here are some pensions that can be transferred:

  • Workplace pensions that are money purchase (or ‘defined contribution’)
  • Individual personal pensions or individual stakeholder pensions
  • Employer AVC schemes
  • Retirement Annuity Contracts (also known as Section 226 policies) which are personal pensions taken out before July 1988
  • Trustee Buyout Plans (S32a) that do not contain certain guarantees

We cannot accept pension transfers from overseas schemes via the online process. Please speak with your financial adviser.

If any of the above is written under trust you'll need the trustees’ permission to transfer.

Unsure if you can transfer?

Here are a few questions and answers that may help. If not please contact us.

If you originally bought your Retirement Account on an advised basis, please note the following:

By consolidating your pensions with us via this online process you are transacting on a non-advised basis. It's therefore strongly recommended that you inform your financial adviser of your intentions.

Your original adviser will receive the policy documents relating to each transaction and they will be asked to forward these on to you.


What can be transferred?

You can use this service to consolidate other pension funds into the pre-retirement Planning section of your Retirement Account (you can still do this if all your funds are currently invested in Income).

If you are already taking an income from the pension you are looking to transfer or have moved money to drawdown with a view to doing so, you won’t be able to use our non-advised online service.


How your funds will be invested

We will initially invest the incoming transfer value into your Retirement Account in the same pre-retirement investment options as which you are currently invested (you can subsequently change this at any time).

Where all your funds are currently invested in the Income section of your Retirement Account the incoming transfer will initially be invested in Planning using the same investment options as your Income investments. You can subsequently change this at any time and you may wish to seek advice as to the suitability of this asset allocation.

If your Retirement Account holds self-invested options in Share Dealing, Discretionary Fund Management or in UK Commercial Property you cannot use our non-advised online service and you will need to seek professional financial advice before transferring.

Don’t have an adviser? How to find an Independent Financial Adviser.


Ongoing adviser payments

When setting up your Retirement Account you may have agreed to pay your financial adviser by means of ongoing fund based adviser charges or through ‘trail commission’ (where the amounts that your adviser receives are expressed as a percentage of the fund value).

If so, you should note that the pension funds you transfer into your Retirement Account will be aligned to these charging options in the same way. This means your adviser will receive increased payments after the transfer has been applied so we strongly suggest you speak to them before you transfer using this process.

The online transfer process is only available for people looking to transfer into a Scottish Widows Workplace Pension (Group Personal Pension or Group Stakeholder Pension Plan) or Retirement Account.

If you have a different type of Scottish Widows pension contact us to set up a Scottish Widows Retirement Account and initiate a transfer into this pension.


Find out more

You will need to speak to a financial adviser and you will not be able to transfer online.

In a defined benefit, also known as a final salary scheme, your pension is based on your salary at retirement and the number of years you have been in the scheme. Your pension entitlement doesn’t depend on the performance of the stock market or other investments.

Examples of where you might have a defined benefit/final salary pension:

  • Public sector
  • NHS
  • Teacher
  • Civil Servant

Unfortunately if you wish to transfer a defined benefit scheme you cannot use our online transfer process. We strongly recommend you speak to a financial adviser about your options.


Help me find an IFA


You will need to contact your pension provider to find out if you have any guarantees. Guarantees can be very valuable and you need to consider very carefully whether you could afford to lose these by transferring. If you do have a specific type of guarantee you’ll not be able to transfer online and may need to speak to a financial adviser. Find out more about guarantees.

It is unusual to be part of a block transfer . You will need to contact your pension provider to find out if you are. If it is part of a block transfer, you’ll not be able to transfer online.