How to know if you can transfer

Next, we’ll help you find out if you can transfer to us. We accept most, but not all pensions. Here, we check that we can accept the pensions you’d like to move to us.

     This section explains

  • Which pensions we can’t accept online
  • When you may need to talk to an adviser
  • If you’re not sure, how you can find out more.

Pensions you can’t transfer online

For some types of pension, you can’t use our online process to transfer to us. This may be because:

  • Your pension is with a provider outside the UK.
  • It’s affected by a pension sharing order or pension earmarking order. This is where a pension has been divided up as part of a divorce.
  • It has been, or will be, set up using ‘disqualifying’ pension credits from a pension sharing order (i.e. the order applied to a pension already in payment or income drawdown).​

  • It’s a final salary pension (also known as a defined benefit scheme).
  • You’re already taking an income from the pension you’d like to transfer to us. Or you’ve taken a tax-free lump sum from this pension.
  • Your pension comes with guarantees that you may want to keep.
  • Your pension is affected by a bankruptcy order (or any other type of receiving orders).

Instead, if any of these apply to your pension, you can call us to talk about your options. We may ask you to talk to an independent financial adviser. They will normally charge for this service.

Why guarantees are important

Some pensions come with extra guarantees. These can be valuable, and you’d lose them when you transfer. If you have these, we ask you to call us rather than use our online service.

These may include:

  • A Guaranteed Annuity Rate: this means, in most cases, you’d get a guaranteed higher income for life when you retire than you’d get at today’s annuity rates.
  • Guaranteed Conversion Option: this allows you to convert your pension into a fund. This fund then gives you access to a wider, more flexible range of benefit options. At today’s rates, this fund is unlikely to be worth as much as your original pension.
  • Section 9(2B) rights: these would provide you with an income that’s based on what you earned at the time this pension was set up.
  • Guaranteed Minimum Pension: some older pensions set up by an employer might offer this benefit. You’d receive this if your employer’s scheme was contracted out of part of the state pension. To find out more, you can contact your scheme administrator.

Where to find out more

To find out if your pension comes with any guarantees, check your policy documents. You can also speak to your provider or scheme administrator.

If you have guarantees and would like to talk about your transfer options, call us. You’ll also need to speak to an independent financial adviser before you decide what to do. They will normally charge for this service.

If your other pension scheme is run by trustees

If you have a pension which was set up by your employer, it might be managed by trustees. If so, you may need to get permission from these trustees before you transfer to us.

If you’re not sure if your pension is run by trustees, check your policy or scheme documents, or contact your scheme administrator.

Still not sure?

If you’d like to know more about any of these points, visit our guides section.


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

  • If you’d like to find out more about pension transfers, get in touch. Our contact details can be found on your scheme infosite.


  • When you’ve read our transfer pages and checked that you can use our online service, you can fill in our form.
    Once you’ve requested a transfer, we'll get in touch with your other providers to let them know that you'd like to transfer your pensions to us.

    In most cases, we can ask your providers to transfer your pensions directly. This process usually takes between four and six weeks to complete.

    If this isn’t possible, we’ll let you know. This is because you’ll need to ask your other provider for a letter of authority.

    If you’d like to know more, call us and we’ll talk you through our process.

  • You can transfer most pensions to us online, but not all. Common reasons we can’t accept a pension online include:

    • It has benefits which may be valuable. If you transfer, you’d give these up
    • It’s with an overseas provider
    • You’ve taken an income or tax-free lump sum from your pension​

    • It’s a final salary pension
    • It’s subject to a bankruptcy order, pension earmarking or sharing order, or other receiving orders​

    • It has been (or will be) set up using ‘disqualifying’ pension credits from a pension sharing order.​

    If these apply to your pensions, call us to talk about your options.