Employers on laptop

Pension Transfers

On this page you will find information on Pension Transfers, what Smart Pension can offer and what the next steps are should you wish to transfer your pension to or from Smart Pension.

What type of transfer are you interested in?

Please select from the table below what type of transfer you are interested in. To find out more about the different types of transfers, read the section below 'What are Pension Transfers?'.

You are interested in: Transfer In Transfer Out
Member/Employee Learn more Learn more
Employer Learn more N/A
Intermediary/Adviser Learn more N/A

1. What are Pension Transfers?

Pension transfers are the movement of pension assets from one pension scheme to another. You may want to transfer your scheme when you, for example, cease working for your employer and want to move the benefits you have accrued from your pension to another pension scheme, whether that be to the scheme of a new employer or perhaps to a personal pension scheme.

The transfer can be:

  • for an individual member. Members may transfer funds from existing pension plans which have been built up in previous employer's schemes or personal pension plans(e.g. a member of Smart Pension wants to move their pension from a former employer into our scheme to keep everything together). Consolidating your funds can assist with retirement planning rather than having multiple annual statements from different providers. This is known as an Individual Transfer.
  • for a group of members agreeing to moving scheme – with support from their employer. Employers or Intermediaries on behalf of Members can assist with the transfer process where there is a group of members who have previous funds in say, an employer's previous scheme (e.g. where the employer wants to use Smart Pension's master trust to get a better pensions deal for itself and for members). Forms and requests can be processed in a cluster to save time and resources. Group transfer procedures would normally involve a minimum of 10 Members. This is known as a Group Transfer.
  • for employers and trustees of former Money Purchase schemes who wish to consolidate members’ funds into their auto enrolment scheme with Smart Pension. This is known as a Bulk Transfer. This is also an opportunity for considerable savings on scheme costs and annual management fees to members. Whilst the decision to carry out a Bulk transfer lies with the trustees and sponsoring employer there is invariably a consultation period with members, and unions if appropriate. There is a formal legal process to follow and Bulk Transfers usually take longer to complete.

Individual transfers typically take a few months to complete, bulk transfers rather longer due to legal requirements and consultation processes.

2. What can Smart Pension offer?

Smart Pension is pleased to announce that we are set up to accept transfers of all the three types above: individual, group and bulk transfers.

We do not make any charge for transferring in or out of the Smart Pension Trust. However, some providers may charge you or deduct exit fees. You should check before you make any decision; if in doubt seek professional advice.

The next steps in proceeding with pension transfers with Smart Pension:

Members/Employees

3. Individual Transfers In

Exemptions

You will need to obtain a current benefit statement from your old pension provider. At the same time you should request a Transfer Pack and Discharge Forms. You should also print off the Letter of Authority (LoA), sign and date it and then email it with the scanned benefit statement to us at transfers@smartpension.co.uk (please type in the Subject Heading: "Transfer-In – (Your Name) – (current Employer Name)". We will then check the plan is suitable and contact the old provider for any further information. We cannot process any request until we have both the LoA and benefit statement (a separate LoA is needed for each old plan unless they are all with the same provider).

The old plan Discharge form needs to be completed and sent to us at: Pension Administration Team, Smart Pension Ltd, 20 Eastbourne Terrace, London W2 6LG, United Kingdom . This form should not be emailed to us as the old provider will usually require an original signature.

Transfers-In can be accepted once you have passed the Opt-Out cooling off period (usually after at least two months' contributions).

  • The funds will be added to your account in the Trust and invested in the same fund(s). You may change investment instructions via your Pension Portal any time in the future.
  • There are some pension plans or schemes which are not acceptable due to incompatible type or potential loss of benefits upon transfer. The most common are: Final Salary Schemes; other Defined Benefit (DB) schemes; internal scheme AVCs, Section 32 Buy-out Bonds; any plan which has GMP benefits. If we cannot accept a particular plan we will outline the reason(s) for you, especially where there would be a cost or loss to you.
  • Transfers can take 12 weeks to complete from when we receive the forms.

4. Individual Transfers Out

If you have left your current employer you may request a transfer to your new employer's scheme or to a Personal Pension plan. If you are over the minimum age (currently 55) and wish to draw your retirement benefits you may request to transfer your funds to an annuity or drawdown provider (some providers have minimum amounts). In either case, please complete and sign PART A of the Transfer Out form and then send the form to your proposed new provider for them to complete PART B and return the form to us as per the instructions on the form. DO NOT return the form to us with just PART A completed.

  • Transfers-Out can only be made to registered UK Pension plans or schemes or to a Qualifying Registered Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).
  • Your attention is drawn to pension scammers who will try to convince individuals to transfer their funds into un-regulated plans or unsuitable investments. We recommend you visit the Pension Regulator 's website for more information.
  • We recommend you seek professional advice from a regulated Adviser.
  • Once a transfer has been made the transaction cannot be unwound.

Employers & Intermediaries

5. Group Transfers In

Group of employees

Group Transfers-In are a cluster of individual transfer requests from a previous single scheme which to save time and cost can be processed together. Whether you are an employer or intermediary you can assist in this process by issuing each member with a Letter of Authority for completion and then either arrange for benefits statements from the ceding scheme, or if unable to instruct the provider, help the members obtain the information along with Transfer Packs and Discharge forms.

  • For Group Transfers - When the LoAs and statements have been collated please scan and email these with the completed Employee Schedule to grouptransfers@smartpension.co.uk (please type in the Subject Heading: “Group Transfer-In – (current Employer Name)”. We will then check the plans are suitable and contact the old provider for any further information. We cannot process any request until we have both the LoA and benefit statement for all transferring members .
  • In the meantime, obtain the old provider Discharge forms and then post them to us at: Pension Administration Team, Smart Pension Ltd, 20 Eastbourne Terrace, London W2 6LG, United Kingdom . This form should not be emailed to us as the old provider generally requires an original signature.
  • The funds will be added to the Member's account in the Trust and invested in the same fund(s). They may change investment instructions via the Pension Portal any time in the future.
  • Before accepting any transfer value that contains a defined benefit (DB) element or underpin it will be referred to the Trustees for consideration. If the Trustees decide not to accept the transfer we will contact you to outline the reason(s).
  • Transfers can take 12 weeks to complete from when we receive the forms. Whilst we can process these cases in a group cluster the ceding scheme is still likely to issue the transfer amounts separately for each individual. We will monitor these and eventually confirm when they have all been received.

6. Bulk Transfers In

Bulk Transfers-In, as explained above, are formal processes where a Deed is required involving legal and advisory expenses. Transfers would come from a single employer scheme and as such the employer would have the authority (along with the scheme Trustees) to transfer the membership and funds without individual members' authorities.

  • For Bulk Transfers - Suitable schemes are CIMPs or Money Purchase arrangements. Unfortunately we are not able to accept COMPS or any schemes with GMP elements.
  • Advisers normally assist with coordinating Employers, Trustees and Legal teams and we are happy for you to be involved in this way.
  • All third party expenses and legal fees of the transfer process will be borne by the sponsoring employer or ceding scheme trustees.
  • The very nature of Bulk transfers requires bespoke procedures. For a decision in principal that we could consider a proposal please email outline details of:- the employer, ceding scheme type and provider, membership numbers (active & deferred), funds under management.

Get Started Now

Get compliant in minutes.