Your frequently asked questions about Pension transfers in the UK

When considering a pension transfer, there may be a thousand questions running through your mind that you want to ask a pension advisor. Pension Works are experts in pension transfers, they manage and transfer pensions daily for hundreds of clients, so are ideally placed to answer any of your transfer questions.

Below, is a list of frequently asked questions with answers Pension Works get from their clients regularly. The answers below shouldn’t be used as personal financial advice, but as guidance. If you are looking for independent and personal advice, always speak with an authorised and regulated financial adviser, like the people at Pension Works.

Q. Can I transfer my Private Pensions to a SIPP?

A. Yes, a SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) is just another type of pension, so you are able to transfer your pension to a SIPP.

Q. Can I transfer a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) into a personal pension?

A. Yes, it can be done. A GMP is treated like a defined benefit Pension, so you may be able to transfer this into a pension. Please speak with your pension advisor for your options.

Q. What is a transfer value on a private pension?

A. The value of the pension plan if you are looking to transfer out. This can be seen on your pension statement.

Q. Can you transfer a pension into an ISA?

A. No, you can’t transfer your pension into an ISA. If you desire, and your pension allows, you could withdraw your tax-free lump sum cash and invest into an ISA.

Q. Can I transfer my pension to another person?

A. No, for your protection, pension transfers to other people are not allowed, although there can be particular circumstances where this is acceptable, i.e. divorce cases. There are alternative ways to move partial pension funds to dependents, but please speak to our financial advisers for assistance.

Q. Can I move my defined contribution pension myself?

A. Yes, it is possible to transfer a pension yourself, but in the case of the defined-benefit pension, there are restrictions. It is essential, though, to seek professional financial advice.

Q. Can I transfer my current workplace pension?

A. Yes, but we wouldn’t advise this as you could lose the pensions contributions made by your employer. Please seek professional pension advice before moving your defined contribution workplace pension.

Q. Should I consolidate my pension pots when I move jobs?

A. There is no strict rule concerning your old workplace pensions. It may be wise to review your old workplace pension to see if it meets your financial outlook in terms of risk and growth. If the pension doesn’t, there are different options you can look at, and a financial adviser can advise on the best option for you.

Q. Can I transfer my pension into cash?

A. If you’re over 55, you can fully cash in your pension, but you may face significant tax bills on the withdrawal. Cash funds are alternatively available within most pension plans.

Q. Can I access my pension before 55?

A. The only people who can legally access the funds before age 55 are those burdened with a Terminal Illness, generally, diagnosed with less than 12 months to live. Always speak with a financial adviser before, as different pension providers may have different rules.

Q. How can I transfer my pension to another country?

A. To move your pension to another country you need an FCA registered financial adviser with QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) permissions. This is due to the different tax legislation, and pension rules specific countries may have. Unfortunately, Pension Works do not have these licences, but you can find specialist advisers at

Q. What happens if I die before I’m 55?

A. If a person passes away pre 55, then the pension is paid, ordinarily, as a tax-free lump sum to the nominated beneficiaries or given the option of pension drawdown type payments. We always recommend ensuring your will is up to date and accurate.

Q. What happens if I go bankrupt?

A. If you are declared bankrupt in the UK, your pension funds are normally separate from your other assets as pension pots are all in trust. The exceptions could be though if it can be determined that you have deliberately reduced your assets by paying funds into a private pension, the normal time limit is for payments in to have been made within the previous two years.

As with all financial questions, we always recommend seeking professional financial advice from an FCA licenced independent adviser. The answers to these questions should not be taken as financial advice and are for reference only.

For independent financial advice regarding your private pensions or pension transfers, please speak to the team at Pension Works on 0808 164 2664 or visit their website and make an enquiry.

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