Transfer for income drawdown

Move your pension to take control of your retirement

How to start your transfer

First things first. It's best to read up on transfers, and how it could affect a pension you're moving. This page will give you an idea of why it might – or might not – be the right step forward for you. 

If you've already decided to move another pension or two into an Aviva Pension, and you understand the pros and cons of doing it, you can begin your transfer.

Why to consider transferring to us

Bringing pensions together can make managing your retirement simpler when you start taking money from the pension you've built up. Here are some other reasons why it might make sense for you:

Flexible options

How much and how often you withdraw from your pot is completely up to you.

Simple online application

Apply online and we’ll organise everything for you. We won’t ask you to fill in loads of forms or paperwork.

Clear charges

Our charges are straightforward and easy to understand – and we won’t charge you for transferring to us.

The value of your pension can go down as well as up and you could get back less than what’s been paid in.

Our simple transfer process

To get going, you’ll need to transfer at least £5,000 – or £1,000 if you set up regular contributions too.

If you’ve already got an Aviva Pension with the online investment service, you can apply to take drawdown straight away.

Step 1

Apply online

Once you’ve considered and chosen your investment options, you can apply online without filling in loads of paperwork.

Step 2

Leave it to us

We’ll carry out any checks and arrange the transfer with your current provider. This usually takes 3 to 6 weeks – we'll email you any time there's an update on your transfer.

Step 3

Take your money

You can apply for income drawdown as soon as we’ve got your transfer. This usually takes two weeks – make sure the money you want to take is in your cash account or this could take longer.

Is it right for you?

Moving your pension is a big decision that isn’t for everyone. It’s worth making sure you won’t lose any extra benefits by transferring. Take the time to compare features, charges, investments and any benefits you might lose by transferring. 

Extra benefits you could lose:

  • The option to take more than 25% tax-free cash 
  • Loyalty bonus or waiver of premiums
  • Built-in or enhanced life insurance benefits
  • Extra death benefits
  • Early retirement option
  • Guaranteed retirement income

We can't accept:

  • A defined contribution pension pot that has any safeguarded benefits or guarantees, including guaranteed annuity rates
  • A defined benefit pension
  • A pension you've already taken money from, including any tax-free cash
  • If any of these points are relevant to you, we can refuse your transfer and you can lose out financially. The scheme you are transferring from may not be able to take your money back

Before you transfer, it's worth finding out if you'll be charged an exit fee or any with-profits funds would have a market value reduction imposed by your current provider. If you're in poor health, you could face inheritance tax implications.

Your cash won't be invested when we're processing your transfers so won't be affected by any rise or fall in value during that time, but any fund unit transfers will remain invested so will continue to be affected by changes in the investment value. It's important to remember there's no guarantee you'll be better off by transferring.

If you're unsure about any of these points, we recommend you seek financial advice before you apply to transfer. The Aviva Financial Advice Team can help you decide what's right for you.

Our investments and Aviva Pension charges

How to choose investments

There are five ways to decide how you invest in our Aviva Pension for income drawdown.

  1. Choose from four investment plans we've put together based on how and when you plan to take your pension money. These are called our Investment Pathways.
  2. Another straightforward approach is to pick one of our ready-made funds.
  3. If you’re a more experienced investor, you might prefer browsing a narrowed-down fund shortlist from our experts.
  4. The most confident investors can build their portfolio using our full range of funds.
  5. Finally, experienced investors can buy and sell shares and other exchange traded investments.

You’ll be transferring to a self-invested personal pension (SIPP), so you’ll need to be comfortable managing your own investments. Think about charges, your attitude towards risk, your aims and personal circumstances. The funds you used to grow your pension might not be suitable for taking income drawdown. Review them to make sure you're invested in the right way.

What are the investment charges?

We won’t charge you for opening an Aviva Pension and there’s no charge to transfer your investments to us. However, your existing provider may charge you for leaving them, so you’ll need to make sure it all adds up before making the move. Once you have an Aviva Pension with us, these are the charges you can expect to pay:


You'll pay an Aviva Charge of up to 0.40% for the value of your funds or cash, depending on how much you invest.

There's also a Fund Manager Charge that will depend on the funds that you've chosen. This charge is included in the price of the fund. 

We won't charge you for buying or selling funds.

Shares and other exchange traded investments

You'll pay an Aviva Share Charge, which is 0.40% of their value, capped at £120 a year. 

There'll be a Fund Manager Charge for exchange traded funds and investment trusts that will be included in the price of the investment. 

When you buy shares and other exchange traded investments, there'll be a Trading Charge for every trade you make.

There may be other charges you’ll need to be aware of – you can read more about these on our charges page.

Things to remember

  • You need to be 55 (or 57 from April 2028) or over to start taking an income from your pension
  • The value of your investments can go up and down, so you could get less back than what’s been paid in
  • You may pay Income Tax on 75% of the money withdrawn from a pension depending on your personal circumstances
  • To take income drawdown you’ll need to have money in the cash account. If you don’t, you’ll have to sell investments before you can make a withdrawal
  • It's worth keeping an eye on how much you're withdrawing and how your investments are performing — your future income isn’t guaranteed and it may not provide you with an income for life
  • You're able to set, and change, the level and frequency of income you want
  • You can choose to receive paper copies of correspondence or stop this using the 'Preferences' tab in MyAviva online
  • We’ll give you the facts about our products and services, but not advice. Nothing on our website is a personal recommendation

Important documents

Before transferring, make sure you read and understand all of the details.

We will always adhere to our 'best execution practices' as set out in our latest order execution policy (PDF 149 KB). What's more we also have a policy to prevent conflicts of interest (PDF 103 KB) that might affect your investment. And if there's ever one we can't prevent we promise to let you know.

Ready to transfer?

To start the transfer process and set up your new pension you will need:

  • A MyAviva account - if you don't have one already, registration is free and only takes a few moments
  • Your national insurance number at hand
  • Your existing plan number and a recent valuation

Get some advice

It’s a good idea to get some help if you’re thinking about moving your pension and taking income drawdown. The Aviva Financial Advice Team can help you establish if financial advice is suitable.

Pension Wise

Pension Wise from MoneyHelper is a free, government-backed service offering clear, impartial and specialist guidance on your retirement options. If you’re aged 50 or over, this service is available to you.

Visit the MoneyHelper website or call 0800 138 3944 for full details of the service.

pension wise

Income drawdown articles

Take a look at our library of helpful articles and guides.

Contact us

Still need some help? Give us a call

0800 285 1088

Monday to Friday: 8:00am – 5:30pm

Saturday and Sunday: Closed

For our joint protection, telephone calls may be recorded and/or monitored and will be saved for a minimum of 5 years. Calls to 0800 numbers from UK landlines and mobiles are free. Our opening hours may be different depending on which team you need to speak to.

Alternatively, you can email us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Platform provider: Aviva Wrap UK Limited. Registered in England No. 4470008. Aviva, Wellington Row, York, YO90 1WR. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 231530.

Product provided by: Aviva Pension Trustees UK Limited. Registered in England No. 2407799. Aviva, Wellington Row, York, YO90 1WR. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 465132.