4 compelling reasons you might want to consolidate your pension

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It’s been more than a decade since auto-enrolment was introduced, and now most workers automatically become members of their employer’s pension scheme. While more people saving for retirement is excellent news, it could mean you end up juggling multiple pots.

One option is to transfer one pension to another, known as “consolidation”. It’s usually simple to do and there are many reasons why you might want to transfer a pension. However, there are also some potential drawbacks that you may wish to weigh up first.

Here are four compelling reasons you might want to transfer one pension to another.

1. It could make it easier to keep track of your savings during your working life

With each job potentially providing you with a pension, the number of pots you might need to manage could become overwhelming during your working life. Indeed, according to Zippia, the average person has 12 different jobs in their lifetime.

Keeping track of several pensions can be difficult. Not only could it make calculating if you’re on track for retirement challenging, but it may be easier to “lose” some of your savings too. According to Aviva, there could be as many as 2.8 million lost pensions in the UK, with a combined value of £26.6 billion.

Consolidating your pension could make handling your retirement plans easier during your working life.

2. Fewer pensions could make creating a retirement income simpler

Similarly, managing multiple pensions in retirement could also be complicated. If you’re juggling several pots, you might need to consider how to spread withdrawals across them and regularly review how the value of each one has changed to ensure withdrawals are sustainable.

Transferring your pensions could make the decisions you make once you retire simpler and your finances easier to manage throughout the next stage of your life.

3. Pension consolidation could reduce the fees you pay overall

Usually, you’ll pay a fee to your pension provider for running your pension scheme and investing on your behalf. This may be a set amount or a percentage of your total pension pot.

Fees vary between providers, so it may be worth reviewing how much you’re paying each pension scheme and considering if transferring could reduce the overall cost. Lower fees mean more of your contributions will be invested for your retirement, which could help your savings grow at a faster pace.

4. You could transfer your retirement savings to a scheme that is performing well

Typically, your pension is invested with the aim of delivering long-term growth. So, transferring your money to a scheme that has investment options that suit your needs or perform well could deliver a boost to the value of your pension over the long term.

When you’re reviewing the performance of your pension, remember to focus on the long term. Short-term market movements may affect the value of your pension, but over a longer time frame markets have, historically, delivered returns.

3 essential reasons you might choose not to transfer your pension

While there might be a good case for transferring your pension, there are reasons not to do so too. Here are three reasons you may decide to leave your retirement savings with your current pension scheme.

1. You have a defined benefit (DB) pension

A DB pension, also known as a “final salary pension”, would provide you with a guaranteed income from your retirement date for the rest of your life to create long-term security. They are often generous, and it usually doesn’t make financial sense to transfer out of a DB pension.

You will normally need to receive specialist financial advice to transfer out of a DB pension to ensure you understand the benefits you’d be losing.

Transferring out of a DB scheme is unlikely to be in the best interests of or be suitable for most people.

2. Your pension provides additional benefits

When you transfer out of a pension, you’d lose any additional benefits that come with it. So, it might be worth reviewing what your pension offers and whether benefits could be valuable to you.

For example, your pension could allow you to access your savings earlier, which might be useful if you want to retire sooner, or provide a guaranteed annuity rate when you start to take an income from it.

3. Withdrawing from small pension pots could be useful

Having several smaller pension pots might be useful if you want to access some of your savings and continue to contribute. “Small pots” are usually defined as a pension with a value of less than £10,000.

In some cases, you might be able to withdraw money from a small pot without triggering the Money Purchase Annual Allowance, which would reduce the amount you can tax-efficiently contribute to a pension in 2024/25 to just £10,000, compared to the usual £60,000.

Considering your retirement plans and reviewing each pension before you decide to transfer it to another scheme could help you decide if consolidation is right for you.

You should also note that transferring your pension may come with a fee. Make sure you understand the potential cost before you proceed.

Contact us to arrange a meeting to discuss your pension and retirement

If you’re thinking about consolidating your pensions and would like to understand if it’s the right decision for you, please get in touch. We can provide tailored advice about your retirement plan and how you could turn goals into a reality.

Please note:

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates, and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts.

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