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Moving your pension from another provider to Smart Pension
Moving your pension from another provider to Smart Pension

How to transfer a pension to us, and what to expect when you do

Written by Smart Pension Support
Updated over a week ago

You may have multiple pension pots with different pension providers, especially if you've moved jobs. You can combine them into one easy-to-use account.

We recommend that you read our full guide to transferring your pension before deciding to transfer your pension savings over to us.

Why combine my pensions?

Easily keep track of your retirement goals with your money in one place.
Spend less time on pension admin with only one account.
Pay one charge rather than many, which could mean more money for retirement.

Why move your pensions to Smart Pension?

✔ It’s quick and easy to combine your pensions‍ using our online tool.
✔ You can manage your pension savings whenever and wherever you want, online through your Smart Account or on our mobile app.
✔ We offer a Fossil Fuel Free fund and are leading the race to net zero by 2040, so you can make sure your money helps the world around us.

Before the transfer

There are a few things you may want to weigh up before making the decision to transfer your pension savings.

Transfers we can't accept

We do not accept transfers from overseas pension schemes.

For transfers made through our online pension finder tool, we can accept transfers of any value - just go to your Smart Pension account, select 'Combine pensions' and follow the steps on screen. For manual transfers, using both electronic and paper forms, we only accept transfer values over £100.

Transfer charges

We won’t charge you for transferring your pension to Smart Pension, but other providers may charge you exit fees for leaving their schemes. This can mean the amount of money transferred into your Smart Pension pot is less than what you had in your old pot once the fees are deducted.

Safeguarded benefits

The transfer from some schemes could result in you losing a pension benefit which includes some form of guaranteed pension in retirement. This is known as a ‘safeguarded benefit’ and includes the following benefit types:

  • Defined benefit - Final salary

  • Defined benefit - Career average revalued earnings (CARE)

  • Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) - can be known as a Section 32 buyout policy

  • Guaranteed pension at retirement (also known as a deferred annuity)

  • Guaranteed annuity rate (GAR)

Whilst Smart Pension does accept transfers from these types of arrangements, it is mandatory for you to seek independent advice from a suitably qualified financial adviser - unless the value of the ‘safeguard benefit’ is £30,000 or less, in which case this will not be required.

If you’re thinking of transferring any of the above benefits to your Smart Pension account, you will need to read our Safeguarded benefit summary guide, along with completing one of the following:

If there is a deadline to secure a ‘cash equivalent transfer value’ (CETV), you will need to give us a sufficient amount of time to secure this on your behalf. Smart Pension cannot be held responsible if the CETV deadline is missed.

Protected benefits

Following a change in legislation, certain individuals were given the right for previously accrued benefits to be protected from new less favourable rules coming in at the time. This includes protection in relation to:

  • Tax-free cash lump sum entitlement above the 25% limit introduced from 6 April 2006 onwards

  • Increase in the normal minimum pension to age 55 which came into effect from 6 April 2010, mainly for those individuals who can do so from age 50 onwards

These individual protections will be lost if you decide to transfer out from the scheme for which these benefits apply (unless done so on a block/buddy basis). If you are thinking about transferring from a scheme that includes either or both of the above protections to your Smart Pension, you will need to:

With-profits investments

A with-profits investment is a long-term investment that can help protect a plan value against short-term market movements, and pay a guaranteed amount in some circumstances.

If you are thinking about transferring from a scheme that includes a with-profits investment, you will need to:

Additionally, if your investment includes any form of guaranteed investment return or regular bonus rate, we will require you to seek independent advice from a suitably qualified financial adviser prior to transferring.

Retirement options

You can access your pension savings from the age of 55. You should consider what retirement options your pension provider offers, such as annuities and drawdowns, as the full range is unavailable with every scheme. Smart Pension doesn't currently offer a full range of options for you to access your pension savings, but we plan to launch this in the near future.

Schemes from outside the UK

We can only receive transfers from registered UK pension plans and schemes or from a Qualifying Registered Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). Make sure you understand the rules and restrictions in the country where your pension scheme is held, as some schemes can't be transferred to the UK.

Guidance and advice

You can speak to a financial adviser to ensure transferring is the right thing for your unique circumstances. To find an adviser in your local area, visit the MoneyHelper website or you can call them on 0800 011 3797.

Beware of scammers who are targeting pension savings. You can find more information on staying safe on the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator websites.

View pensions from other providers or transfer money in

We have partnered with Pension Lab to help you see all your pensions in one place.

To access Pension Lab, sign in to your Smart Pension account, select 'Combine pensions' and follow the steps on screen. Within Pension Lab you can find and add your previous pensions so you can see all your retirement savings in one place. You can then choose whether to combine your previous pension savings by transferring them into your Smart Pension account.

Get started

From the “Your pension” page click on the Combine pensions button.

This will take you to the ‘Combine pensions’ page where you should read the information carefully before following the instructions and clicking on the View or combine pensions button.

When you enter the pension finder tool, click + Add a pension.

We'll invest the money transferred in the same fund(s) as the rest of your Smart Pension savings. You can change your investment instructions at any time through your account settings. If we can’t accept a particular plan we’ll contact you and outline the reason(s) why.

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