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Transfer myths busted – your most common questions answered

Transferring pensions and investments to another provider is an important decision and can often raise a lot of questions. We take a look at, and answer, the most common questions we’re asked about transferring.

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.

Transferring pensions is a decision that should be made with care. Often people considering transferring will have many questions. To help, below are some of the most common questions we’re asked about transferring to HL.

Remember this article isn’t personal advice. Unlike cash, investments will fall as well as rise in value so you could make a loss.

Before transferring a pension you should check you won’t need to pay high exit fees, and you won’t be giving up any valuable benefits or guarantees. If you’re not sure what to do you should consider seeking financial advice.

Frequently asked questions

“Is it quicker and better to transfer as cash or stock, and do I get to choose?”

What’s best for you will depend on your situation. You can choose to transfer in stock or as cash. If markets fall, this could work in your favour. If markets rise, you could miss out on any gains. Even if you decide to buy the same investment back, its price is likely to have changed during your transfer.

Many transfers can be made electronically although some are still done by paper. Generally speaking (and in usual circumstances) cash transfers tend to complete quicker than stock. This is because cash can often be transferred electronically and all in one go.

Stock transfers are different. Investments aren’t always held directly with your provider, there could be third parties involved. This means different investments could be transferred at different times – usually you won’t be able to access your investments until the entire transfer is complete.

“Can my new provider accept any investment?”

It’s not always possible to transfer pensions as they are. In some cases a cash transfer might be your only option.

You might find that the investments you hold in your pension aren’t offered by your newly chosen provider, in which case they might also need to be sold ahead of time and transferred as cash. This could be because your current provider has a limited investment choice, or different versions of what’s available on the wider market. This is particularly true for investments held in older pensions, especially if it’s provided by an insurance company.

We are the UK’s biggest investment platform, we have thousands of investments available through our service. You can find more information about our full range of investments online, or contact us to double check what we offer.

Find out more about the services we offer

“What can I do to avoid any delays?”

It isn’t easy to predict if or when a delay might happen, but there are some things you could do to make sure your request goes through as smoothly as possible.

1. Complete all details on your transfer application form – missing out any information can hold up the transfer, especially if it has to be done by post.

2. Make sure that the account and personal details you provide match exactly what your current provider holds – If you’ve moved house or changed name, you need to make sure you’ve let your existing provider know. If all your details don’t match, then the transfer could be rejected and you’d have to start the process again.

Once our team receives your transfer application, we’ll normally be able to do the rest for you. But if there’s something you need to do, for instance sign other documents, then we’ll get in touch. Once the transfer is underway, you shouldn’t need to contact your existing provider again and we’ll let you know when the transfer completes.

“Is it free to transfer?”

It is with HL, but you could be charged to transfer away from your existing provider, and depending who you choose as your new provider they might charge an account set-up fee. You should check with both parties before applying to transfer for details of any charges. Other charges could also apply once you’re with HL.

Compare HL charges

“Will transferring affect my pension allowance?”

Transferring a pension doesn’t affect your annual allowance.

More on pension allowances

“Can I do a partial transfer?”

We accept partial transfers to the HL SIPP. But you should check with your current provider that they’re also able to do so. If you have a drawdown pension you are only able to transfer whole drawdown arrangements.

Find out more about transferring to HL

“Will I lose any guaranteed benefits?”

If you have benefits attached to your pension or other investments, you should always speak to your current provider before applying to transfer.

Remember for certain safeguarded benefits, both HL and your current provider might require financial advice to be taken. This would apply to any Defined Benefit pension transfer that’s worth over £30,000 – and we’d need evidence that the advice was in favour of transferring in order to proceed with it.

If you have any other questions why not contact us.

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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