Some things are too important to leave behind
It’s all too easy to lose track of a pension – especially if you’ve changed jobs a few times over the years. If you think you may have a forgotten pension, you can get help to find it:
Visit The Pension Tracing Service, the free and impartial service to help locate your lost pensions and understand what you can do with them.
Once you’ve found out what you’ve got, it pays to make sure you keep an eye on your pension in the future. You might find it easier to do this if you transfer all your pensions into a single pot. This isn’t the right solution for everyone, so before you act you need to bear some important facts in mind…
It's really important that you consider all the advantages and disadvantages of transferring your pension
Why do people transfer their pensions?
With all your pensions in one place, it can be easier to see how they are performing, as well as checking that your investments are on track to meet your retirement needs. But there are other possible advantages, too:
Newer workplace schemes such as your Aviva Pension could have lower charges than older schemes.
Transferring a pension could mean you get more choice when it comes to investing your money. As well as more funds at your disposal, you may be able to buy and sell investments yourself online.
Plans that you started some years ago may not offer you all the pension freedoms introduced by the government in 2015. Your current Aviva scheme offers flexible ways to access your pension when you’re 55, like income drawdown.
Remember, the value of an investment is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up. You may get back less than what was invested.
What should I consider before transferring?
It’s important to take a close look at the terms and conditions of your old pension plan(s) before you consider transferring to your current scheme. Remember, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be better off by transferring. Make sure that you wouldn’t lose anything that could be valuable to you. In particular, you should look out for:
Usually pension schemes allow you to take up to 25% as a tax-free cash sum when you take the benefits. But some older pension schemes offered individuals the right to take more than the usual 25% tax-free sum, which could be lost if you transfer.
A With Profits investment is one which can sometimes pay a guaranteed amount – although, like other investments, its value can still go down as well as up. If you’re invested in a With Profits fund, you need to know that a market value reduction – to make sure remaining investors aren’t disadvantaged – may be applied when you transfer.
Some older pensions offer life insurance benefits, enhanced death benefits, certain guarantees, future bonuses and salary related benefits. If you're unsure, ask your old pension provider.
Does Aviva accept every pension?
We’re happy to accept transfers from most types of pension – but we won’t do so if we think you’d be better off staying where you are. This could be the case if your old pension offers certain guarantees – we’ve listed them below:
- Defined benefit pensions (sometimes called final salary pensions) or pensions that provide any other salary-related benefits.
- Pensions promising set annuity rates (also known as guaranteed annuity rates).
- Pensions with guaranteed minimum pension benefits.
- Pensions invested in guaranteed funds or funds promising guaranteed investment returns.
- Pensions with any other guarantees.
You may need to take advice before you can transfer, and you may have to pay for this advice. Please contact us to see if we can accept your transfer or for more information.
If you have received advice, your financial adviser will need to complete and sign the declaration on your pension transfer application form.
Aviva won’t charge you for transferring a pension to us – but it’s worth checking whether your old providers will charge you for transferring out of the plan.
What else should I know?
First and foremost, it’s your decision and no-one else’s. Neither your employer nor your pension provider can advise you – though, if you’re unsure, you should talk to a financial adviser who can help you compare plans and decide what’s best for you.
If you don’t have one, visit unbiased.co.uk to find a suitable adviser close to you.
There may be a period of time while a transfer is taking place when you may be disinvested i.e. out of the market for the time it takes to complete the transfer. This means that you wouldn’t benefit from any rise in the price of investments during that time.
Before you contact us – a checklist
You’ll need to get the following details to hand before you call. You should be able to find them on a pension statement, or from your previous pension provider.
The list might seem a bit long, but it’s well worth taking a little time to make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need.
- The name(s) of your previous pension provider(s).
- Your policy number(s) – this should be on a pension statement.
- Type of pension policy(s) – e.g. Stakeholder, Personal.
- The current fund value and/or transfer value – ask your old pension provider.
- Would you lose any benefits that you consider valuable? These may include: certain guarantees, future bonuses and salary related benefits – if you’re unsure, ask your old pension provider.
- Whether you have taken your tax-free lump sum.
Ready to transfer? Please have your documents to hand before you call
If your Aviva policy starts with…
“F” call 0800 051 4095. Monday-Friday: 8:00am to 6:00pm.
“GS” call 0345 604 9915. Monday-Friday: 8:00am to 5:30pm.
“SP” or “TK” call 0800 404 6176. Monday-Friday: 8:00am to 8:00pm, Saturday: 8:30am to 5:00pm, Sunday: 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Calls may be monitored and/or recorded.
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