Benefits and features

How to decide if you should transfer

Your existing pension may have benefits and features that you'd like to keep. Or you may decide to give these up when you transfer. We’ll tell you about these so you can work out what’s best for you.


     This section explains

  • How to find out which benefits and features you have
  • How to decide if these are valuable to you
  • What to do if you’re not sure.

How to find out what you have

Some of your existing pensions’ benefits and features might be valuable. If you transfer to us, you’ll give these up. So, it’s worth checking before you apply.

You can find out which benefits and features you have by checking your policy documents. You can also speak to your other providers.

See the types of benefits you may want to hold onto

  • A protected tax-free lump sum. You can normally take 25% of your pension as a tax-free lump sum. This benefit allows you to take more than 25%.
  • Protected pension age. This gives you the right to access your pension before the age of 55 (increasing to 57 in 2028). There may be exceptions to this, for more information see the benefits and features.
  • Fund guarantees or bonuses. These can include a guaranteed growth or bonus rate, a loyalty bonus or a fund bonus.
  • Protection. This can include life cover, critical illness cover or waiver of premium.

If you'd like to check which benefits and features you may have with your existing Scottish Widows Retirement Account, contact us.

This information is not the same thing as advice.
Read more about advice and find out which type might be right for you.


  • Some people choose to transfer to Scottish Widows because they have an existing pension with us.

    Others have compared their other pensions with our new one. They’ve decided they'd like to set up a new Retirement Account with us and transfer into that.

    As one of the largest pension providers in the UK, we've been helping people to save for the future for over 200 years. We’re also part of a group which includes well-known brands such as Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Halifax.

  • Some of your pensions might have extras which may be worth holding onto. These benefits and features can be valuable to you for many reasons, such as:

    • They may protect you for life events, should the worst happen
    • They may include a bonus or guaranteed growth rates
    • Some, such as a protected tax-free lump sum or protected pension age, mean you have more choice about how and when you take your pension.

    As you won’t, in most cases, be able to replace these benefits when you transfer, check your pensions for these features before you apply.

    Read our guide to find out more.