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Meet the pensions helpdesk - the team who answer your transfer questions

Our pensions helpdesk answers 7 of the most common questions they get asked about transferring a pension. They also share their top tips on how to transfer your pension as smoothly as possible.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

It’s normal to have lots of questions before transferring your pension. Our pensions helpdesk is always on hand to help – no matter how big or small the query.

Call 0117 980 9926 if you’re considering transferring to HL, but want to know more about how it works or want to talk things through with a friendly voice. The team can’t advise you on whether you should transfer, but they can explain the process step by step and can give you updates on your transfer along the way. They’re available six days a week: Mon-Thurs 8am to 7pm, Fri 8am to 6pm, Sat 9:30am to 12:30pm.

Below, our pensions helpdesk shares its most frequently asked questions. And, offers some top tips on how to transfer your pension as smoothly as possible.

Before transferring please check if you will lose valuable benefits or incur excessive exit fees. Pensions are usually transferred as cash so you will miss out on any market rises or falls for a period.

This article and the information provided are not personal advice. If you are unsure, please seek advice.

More on transferring

Meet the team - helping you put a face to a name

Jonathan Hybs - Pensions Helpdesk Team Leader

Jonathan started on the helpdesk in November 2012. He worked his way up to Team Leader back in 2015. His knowledge about pensions and HL is second to none.

“If you’ve recently moved address, make sure you’ve updated this with your old pension provider before applying for a transfer- this can help you avoid any delays. Our records must match your old provider’s before the transfer can take place.”

“If you’re planning to transfer your pension as cash, check with your provider if they use the electronic transfer system called ORIGO. If they do, this normally means your transfer will take less time to complete.”

Nina Penny - Pensions Helpdesk Consultant

Nina started on the pensions helpdesk 18 months ago. She’s known to go above and beyond for our clients as well as her team members - she’s always bringing in homemade cakes for her colleagues.

“When completing your transfer form, double check the policy number is correct. If the policy numbers are different between us and your current provider it can slow down your transfer.”

“If you’re only transferring some of your pension, make sure you tick the partial transfer box. Again this could slow your transfer down if you don’t. It could also mean that your provider might attempt to transfer the full value of your pension.”

Mike Grimshaw - Senior Pensions Helpdesk Consultant

Mike has been on the team for over two years. He’s part of a dedicated group who respond to all your pension questions by email. But he’s happy to answer questions over the phone too!

“If your provider isn’t able to transfer your pension electronically they’ll send you discharge forms. You’ll need to fill in the member sections and return the paperwork to us directly.”

Alexander Watkins - Pensions Helpdesk Consultant

Alex is fairly new to the team. He joined over 5 months ago and now deals with daily transfer questions.

“My top tip is to be aware of the time it takes to transfer your pensions as stock compared to cash. While a stock transfer means you won’t be out of the market, you should be aware that these transfers can take longer than cash transfers and you may not be able to change where you’re invested during the process.”

7 most popular pension transfer questions

Q1. How long does a pension transfer take?

Timeframes depend on your old pension provider and the type of pension. If we can transfer your pension electronically, it typically takes up to 2 weeks. If you need to complete discharge forms it’s likely to take between 4-6 weeks. These timeframes are for cash only. If you’re planning to transfer stock then it may take longer.

Q2. What are the charges for transferring to you?

We don’t charge you to transfer your pension, but you should check with your current provider if they’ll charge you any transfer out fees, or if you’ll lose any guarantees by transferring. Make sure you do this before you start your transfer.

Q3. How do I go about transferring a pension?

Before you transfer please read our terms and conditions and key features (including the Important Investment Notes, Transfer Checklist and Common Transfer Declaration). Then simply complete your transfer application. You can do this online or by downloading a paper form and returning it to us in the post. You don’t need to notify your current pension provider – we’ll do the leg work for you.

Q4. How long does it take for my money to reach you once my previous provider has sent it?

This depends how your old pension provider sends the payment. If they make a BACS payment this can take between 3-5 working days. If it’s by a CHAPS payment it usually takes 1 working day to arrive with us. If your provider sends us a cheque it can take a little longer.

Q5. Can I transfer my current investments without the need to sell them first?

Yes, this is called an in-specie transfer. This can take longer than a cash transfer but it does mean you won’t be out of the market whilst your transfer takes place. Feel free to contact us before requesting a stock transfer to check we can hold the same investments on our platform. You’ll also need to make sure your current provider can transfer as stock. Please note that it is not possible to sell your investments during the transfer.

Q6. Can I transfer to you and then take money out of my pension immediately?

Yes, but only if you’re 55 or over. You just need to let us know before you transfer your pension and we’ll talk you through your options. Remember that tax and pension rules change and benefits depend on individual circumstances.

Q7. What types of pension can I transfer to HL?

There are lot of different types of pensions you can transfer, including:

  • Personal and stakeholder pensions
  • Retirement Annuity Contracts (RACs)
  • Another Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)
  • Most Additional Voluntary Contribution plans (AVCs) including Free Standing AVCs
  • Executive Pension Plans (EPPs)
  • Most paid-up occupational money purchase plans
  • Old protected rights pensions accrued from contracting out of the State Second Pension or SERPS (State Earnings Related Pension Scheme)
  • Pensions in income drawdown

If you have a final salary pension or another pension type not listed above, call us on 0117 980 9926 and we may be able to help you transfer.

Cashback Give your old pensions a new home.

Save time and money by managing all your pensions together in one account: the HL SIPP. Act by 30 April and receive cashback as a thank you. Terms apply.

Find out more

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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