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We'll go through the things you'll need to check when deciding if transferring is right for you.
Before you apply, you'll need to make some decisions about how you want to invest and access your pension.
Don’t worry, if you're not sure we can help.
The online application only takes minutes to complete. You'll need to have your existing Pension details to hand.
This usually takes a few weeks but can take longer for some types of pensions, or if we need to contact you for more information.
Some pensions come with extra guarantees. These can be valuable, and you’d lose them when you transfer. That’s why we don’t accept pensions with:
Ask yourself: what benefits and features do I have, and how valuable are they to me? It’s important to consider that you’d give these benefits up when you transfer. If you’re unsure please check with the providers of the pensions you are looking to transfer.
The types of features to look out for include:
• Protected tax-free lump sum – this gives you the right to take more than 25% of the value of your pension as a tax free-lump sum from the age of 55.
• Protected pension age – giving you the right to access your pension benefits before the Normal Minimum Pension Age (NPMA) of 55 (rising to 57 in 2028).
• Life insurance, Critical illness or Waiver of premium cover – you’d give these up when you transfer as you wouldn’t get these in the Retirement Account.
• Pensions invested in a With-Profits fund – this could reduce your share of profits if you transfer out before a certain date.
All pensions have charges. Before transferring your pension, compare your current fees and charges with the Retirement Account charges. You can find these details by checking your policy documents, or through your online portal if available. Alternatively, you can speak to your pension providers to understand their charges.
We won’t charge you for transferring in or setting up your pension, but you should check if your existing provider will charge you to transfer out.
If you’re unsure then we’d recommend that you speak to a financial adviser, who will normally charge you for this advice.
If you already have an existing Scottish Widows Pension (such as a workplace pension) that you are still contributing to, you might want to consider combining into this first . You can find out more information about how to do this on the Scottish Widows website.
Our Retirement Account offers simple, ready-made investment solutions to suit your needs and a range of ways for you to access your pension benefits.
Make sure to consider the options available to you so that when it comes to applying, you can tell us when you want to retire and how you want to invest and access your money at retirement.
If you’re not sure of your risk appetite or how to take your pension at retirement, you can choose the default option. This is a balanced Governed Investment Strategy (GIS) that targets flexible access at retirement. This could suit a typical customer and reflects what we most commonly see in terms of risk appetite and retirement options. The default strategy is not personalised to you, and it may not meet your needs at retirement, so please consider this when making a decision about your investment options. You can always revise this at a later date if you change your mind or your circumstances change.
If you're unsure what to choose, you can always seek financial advice. There will be a charge for this service.
You can call Scottish Widows 0345 601 2585 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm to discuss your retirement options, however, we are unable to provide advice . Calls may be monitored and recorded. Calls cost may vary depending on your service provider.
Before you decide to transfer, you might need advice or guidance.
What is guidance?
When you visit us online or speak to Scottish Widows, this is guidance, helping you make an informed choice. However, this isn't the same thing as advice, and you won’t receive a recommendation of what to do next.
What is financial advice?
This is what you get from a Financial Adviser. They’ll talk to you about what your finances look like today, and your plans for tomorrow and recommend the best products to suit your situation. They’ll normally charge you for their advice.
If you plan to take money from your pension soon after you transfer to Scottish Widows , this is an important decision. You could get free and impartial guidance about your pension options through Pension Wise from Moneyhelper. This is a government service that offers clear and simple guidance online or over the phone.
There are several things to think about that may affect your decision:
We want to give you a clear picture of what it will cost once you set up a Retirement Account, that's why the charges are clear and transparent. View a breakdown of the Retirement Account charges, including an example of how that might look.
View an example illustration (PDF, 1.5MB) to get an idea of how your pension might perform over time. You can look at different transfer and contribution values to see how this could impact your retirement income. Once your Retirement Account has been set up, you'll get a personalised illustration in your welcome pack.
Every little counts when it comes to planning for your retirement, so it’s worth tracking down any pensions you might have forgotten about.
If you can remember who the provider was, it could be worth getting in touch to see if they can help. Similarly, if it was a workplace pension, you could contact your past employer to get more information.
Otherwise, The Pension Tracing Service might be able to help.