What should I check before transferring a pension?

Transferring existing pensions may not be suitable for everyone. As with all financial decisions there are important factors you need to consider.

Check if your pension has any safeguarded benefits, including:

  • guaranteed income
  • guaranteed investment return or annual bonus
  • guaranteed annuity rates
  • additional death benefits
  • protected tax-free cash

These are potentially valuable benefits that you may lose if you transfer. You typically find them in older pensions, final salary, or career average pension schemes – but you should always check before transferring.

 You can read a full explanation of safeguarded benefits in our Pension Transfers Factsheet

If you started withdrawing money from your pension before 6 April 2015, you may be in capped drawdown. We cannot accept transfers of pensions in capped drawdown.

If you’re in any doubt about transferring a pension you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.

Workplace pension schemes

If you want to transfer a whole workplace pension, you cannot be an active member of it. This means you need to leave the scheme first. Wait 3 months after receiving your final contribution and then start a transfer to us.

You can sometimes transfer part of your workplace pension to us while still being a member of it. Contact your current provider to confirm if they allow it. 

You should get advice when thinking about transferring a workplace pension to a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) to understand the risks.

The Vanguard Personal Pension is not a workplace pension. Your employer cannot contribute to it directly or on your behalf. 

Up to date personal details

Make sure your current provider has your latest address and your correct name. If the information they have for you is out of date it can delay your transfer.

Need more help?

Our UK-based team is ready to answer your questions

Our UK-based team is ready to answer your questions.

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Getting help in difficult circumstances

Please contact us if you’re having financial difficulties, navigating a difficult time in your life, or if your mental wellbeing is affected. This happens to many in these uncertain times. We’re here to help.

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