Your Aviva pension
from a previous job

It's your money, make it work for you

When you leave a job, don't forget your workplace pension

You may not think your workplace pension from an old employer is worth worrying about. It might be small, or seem like a lot of effort to do something with it. But it's your money, money you've worked hard for.

And your pension is still working hard for you here at Aviva. Giving it a little attention could make a big difference to how your retirement might look.

Remember, your pension is invested to help it grow, but as with all investments its value can fall as well as rise. You could get back less than the amount invested.

Four things you can do right now

Remind yourself of some pension basics

You may already know how pensions work, but it’s always good to refresh your memory on the different types of workplace pension and when employers must enrol you in a pension scheme.

Read more about workplace pensions

Person sat at a table, drinking juice, whilst writing in their notepad, in a home setting

Check the value of your pension pot

Your pension might have more in it than you think. Even if not, it’s worth keeping track of it so you know where you stand. The easiest way is through MyAviva, your secure online account.

Log in to MyAviva or register

Couple looking at a phone while relaxing and cuddling on a sofa, in a home setting

Make sure your details are up to date

This is important so that you receive any updates we send about your pension. It’s quick and easy to update your details in MyAviva if they’ve changed since you left your old workplace.

Log in to MyAviva or register

Close crop of a person sat down using their tablet device, in a home setting

Track down any other pensions

If you’ve worked in different places, you could have other pensions that you’ve lost touch with. Even if the individual amounts are small, they add up.

Find out how to track them down.

Person sitting up on a sofa against some cushions, using their laptop, in a home setting

You and your pension at different stages of your career

Early career

Retirement may seem a lifetime away, so it might be tempting to do nothing in the short term. But the sooner you start saving, the better your chance of enjoying the future you want. All the money you put into a pension now — even if it’s a small amount each month — has many years to grow.

Paying into your pension now

You already have a pension with Aviva, which is a great start. But what’s the right amount to put into your pension? We suggest as much as you can afford, which will depend on your circumstances, and will be different for each person. A good rule of thumb is to put 12% of your monthly salary into your pension, with the aim of saving at least 10 times your annual salary by the time you retire. With your retirement a way off, kickstarting your savings now could help you build up a decent pot to fund the retirement you're looking forward to.

Check in on your workplace pension

It's worth keeping a regular eye on your pension to make sure you're on track to hit your retirement goals. You can do this using MyAviva, either online or in the app. We can help you work out how much money you'll need in your pension by the time you retire through our Shape my Future tool.

When you change jobs

If you’ve moved to a different job, your old workplace pension is still here working hard for you, and you’ve got options about what to do with it — such as simply leaving it where it is or transferring other pensions into it. Some people prefer to keep their pensions separate, but many decide to put them all into one pot to make things easier to manage. 

Take a look at the pros and cons of transferring pensions.


Ready to learn more?

If so, we have articles, tools and more to help you feel pension confident.

Mid career

By now, it’s likely that you’ve had a few different employers and roles, and you’re entering your prime earning years. And, at home, you may well have a mortgage and a family.

You might have also had a few workplace pensions, so you may need to take a more active role in managing them.

Keeping track of your pensions

Several employers probably means several workplace pensions. It can be easy to lose track of what you’ve got, which means you won’t be sure how much you’ve saved. If you’ve got physical paperwork, like annual statements, keep it all together in a safe place. If you've lost track of any pensions, there's a free government Pension Tracing Service to help you trace them.

You can find any Aviva pensions through your secure online account, MyAviva.

Nominating your beneficiaries

It's important to make sure you've nominated one or more beneficiaries for your pension savings, particularly if you have a family.  Your beneficiaries are the people who will inherit your pension when you die. They don't have to be your spouse or civil partner — you can nominate charities, for example.  If you don't nominate a beneficiary, we'll usually distribute your pension pot to your next of kin, but nominating a beneficiary makes your intentions clear.  You can do this quickly and easily through MyAviva.

Think about what kind of retirement you’d like to have

It’s never too early to do a bit of retirement planning. The big questions to think about are: what do I want my retirement to look like, how much income will I need, and how long will it need to last?

Your pension statements will be a good way to help you work out whether you’ll have enough money in retirement. How well do the monthly figures compare with what you’ll need?

Paying more into your pension

You’ve tracked down all your pensions, and you’ve worked out how much money you may need at retirement. Even if your finances seem in good shape, it’s always better to save more than you think you’ll need, so you may want to consider if you can afford to pay more into your pension. Your retirement may still be a way off, so your pension pot has time to grow.

Consolidate your pensions into one place

If you’ve got several pensions, think about whether to move them all into one place. It’s not right for everyone, so grab all your pension paperwork and look through details like special features, fees, and exit charges. Also look at the pension you’re thinking of consolidating the others into. Are there charges for transferring in? What are the ongoing fees? If in doubt, speak to a professional. Transferring is a complex area, so we recommend you seek professional financial advice. Advisers may charge for advice.


Want more guidance?

If you’re ready to learn more about pensions, we have more detailed guidance to help you feel confident about your choices.

Pre-retirement

By now, your retirement age is getting closer, which means soon you’ll hopefully have more freedom to do the things you enjoy.

However, there are a few more decisions to consider when it comes to your pension to ensure you have the retirement you’re looking forward to.

Keeping track of your pensions

Several employers probably means several workplace pensions. It can be easy to lose track of what you’ve got, which means you won’t be sure how much you’ve saved. If you’ve got physical paperwork, like annual statements, put them all together in a safe place. If you've lost track of any pensions, there's a free government Pension Tracing Service to help you trace them.

You can find any Aviva pensions through your secure online account, MyAviva.

Nominating your beneficiaries

It's important to make sure you've nominated one or more beneficiaries for your pension savings, particularly if you have a family.  Your beneficiaries are the people who will inherit your pension when you die. They don't have to be your spouse or civil partner — you can nominate charities, for example.  If you don't nominate a beneficiary, we'll usually distribute your pension pot to your next of kin, but nominating a beneficiary makes your intentions clear. You can do this quickly and easily through MyAviva

Think about when and how to start taking your money

When you reach 55, you have the option to start taking money from your pension. There are several ways you can do this. You can take it all as a cash lump sum, or take it as a guaranteed or more flexible income.

There are lots of options to consider, and you can even mix and match. If you’re over 50, you can get free and impartial guidance on your retirement options on the government’s Pension Wise website.

Before you make any decisions, it makes sense to talk to your financial adviser. If you don’t have an adviser, we can help put you in touch with one.


Want more guidance?

If you’re ready to learn more about pensions, we have more detailed guidance to help you feel confident about your choices.

Retirement

It’s time to use your pension. You’ve worked hard to build up your retirement savings, but there’s still more you can do to make your pension work as hard as it can.

You have options:  will you take your pension all at once, or in an annuity or drawdown — or use a combination of options? You may know what you’d like to do next, but it’s always good to consider your options and understand them fully.

If you choose an option where some or all of your money is still invested, remember that its value may fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested.

Keeping your pension money where it is

Things to consider:

  • If you're still contributing to your pension, do you know the annual contribution limit for the type of pension you have?
  • If you aren’t making pension contributions, are you missing an opportunity?

Taking a flexible income by making withdrawals

You can do this by leaving most of your money in your pension and making withdrawals as and when you need to. You can take up to 25% of your pension tax-free, but you’ll have to pay income tax on the money you take out beyond that. 

Things to consider:

  • Have you calculated how much income you’ll have from all your pensions when you retire? Don’t forget to use the government’s Pension Tracing Service to track down all your pensions
  • Have you checked whether you’re entitled to the State Pension and, if so, how much you’ll receive? This depends on how much National Insurance you’ve paid. You might also be able to claim Pension Credit

Taking a guaranteed income for life

You can take up to 25% of your pension pot tax-free, then with the rest you can buy an annuity to give you a guaranteed income for as long as you live. You'll have to pay tax on this income. You can have an idea of what this income might look like using our pension annuity calculator.

Things to consider:

  • You can take up to 25% tax-free before you buy your annuity
  • Once an annuity’s up and running, you can’t make changes
  • There are different types of annuities, depending on your health and lifestyle — an enhanced annuity could provide a higher income. 
  • You can’t get back the pension lump sum you’ve bought it with
  • We’ll pay your annuity income for at least a year — if you pass away in that time, the money will still go to your estate
  • If you die within 90 days of setting up your annuity, every penny of your income will go to your partner

Taking all your pension money as a lump sum

You could withdraw all the money from your pension. You can take up to 25% of this tax-free, but you’ll have to pay income tax on the rest at once. Read more about taking all your pension in cash.

Things to consider:

  • Are you aware of the tax implications and can you afford the potential tax bill if you take out all your money?
  • Could emptying your pension now leave you short of money later on?
  • Be aware of pension scams. Read more about how you can protect yourself from fraud
Please remember that tax benefits are subject to change as well as your individual circumstances.

Want more guidance?

If you’re ready to learn more about pensions, we have more detailed guidance to help you feel confident about your choices.

Talk to us for free

Our dedicated pensions specialists are here to answer your questions about your pension.

Call us on 0800 404 9986, 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Calls may be monitored or recorded. Calls to 0800 numbers from UK landlines and mobiles are free.

It’s important to get financial advice when making a decision about your pensions, so please speak to your financial adviser. If you don’t have an adviser, we can help put you in touch with one.

Ready to dive deeper?

If you’re ready to learn more about pensions, we have more detailed information available about everything from responsible investing to pension tax relief.