Is it right for me?

What to think about before you combine pensions.

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.

  1. Do your pensions have any ‘protections’?

    We strongly recommend you seek financial advice if the pensions you want to combine have any of these:

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  1. 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.

  2. Charges
    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Investment funds
    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.

Why do I need to compare illustrations?

Illustrations help you compare what you might get back from different pension plans. The illustration from the plan you want to transfer can help you understand what you might get if you don't do the transfer. Our illustration can help you understand what you might get back if you do.

  1. How to get an illustration

    There are two types of illustration. One is 'personal'. It will include your details, to give you a more accurate picture of what your plan might do for you. The other is 'generic', which does not. For this reason, we highly recommend you get a personal one.

    A personal illustration will take account of:

    • How much you have in the plan
    • How long it will be invested
    • How your actual charges could affect you
    • The fund or funds it invests in.

    To get a personal illustration for the pension you want to transfer, get in touch with the provider.

    To get a personal illustration for a Scottish Widows plan, you can call us on 0345 608 0378. We’ll need to know the transfer value of your other plan before we can give you one of these.

    If you're new to Scottish Widows, or if you have a plan that isn't a Retirement Account or a Workplace pension, you will need to set up a Retirement Account to make a transfer to us.

    We'll give you a personal illustration, which you can review before you commit to this.

    If you want to get an idea of how our plans might perform, you can download our generic illustrations:

  2. Make sure you compare like for like

    • Make sure that the illustration for the plan you might transfer uses the same retirement date as your Scottish Widows illustration. You don't have to retire at this date. It just means that, if they are not the same, you won’t be able to compare like for like.
    • Check the assumptions are the same. For example, do both illustrations assume that you will no longer be paying in?

    It is important to remember the figures on the illustration are not guaranteed.

What will I get?

When you combine your pension pots using Scottish Widows’ free service, you have:

  1. Simplicity: Less statements and time spent trying to manage multiple pensions, and more time to plan what’s right for your future.
  2. Flexibility for the future: We allow access to flexibility on how you take your money once you reach 55, using our Retirement Account.
  3. Award winning service: Scottish Widows has 200 years’ experience in helping customers reach their goals for the future.

If it’s right for you, you’re ready for the next step.

Combine your pensions

Have an overview of the hows and whys of combining your pensions.

An overview

Why Combine with us?

One pension is easier. Combining with us is as easy as it can be.

Find out why

Ready to combine?

If it’s right for you and you have everything you need.

The next step