Interactive Investor

Ask the Experts: Should I consolidate my three pensions into one pension pot?

13th December 2017 09:38

Patrick Connolly from interactive investor

Loading

Share on

Q

“I am 45 years old with three different pension pots. One is worth around £7,500, the other around £15,000 and the final one around £115,000. I’ve recently moved jobs, but need to serve a six-month probation before I get the 8% pension contributions on offer at the new firm, made up of a 3% contribution by myself and 5% from the company. The four pensions I will have are with three different providers. My question is should I consolidate them into one pension pot? ”

From: CW/Clackmannanshire

A

Many people are keen to consolidate their pensions, and this is something which is heavily promoted by product providers. However, remember that they have a vested interested in you transferring to them as they want to have more of your money in their pensions and on their platforms.

The big advantage of consolidating your pensions is that you will have everything in one place, which makes administering your pension easier. This should give you more control over reviewing your investments, making any changes and understanding the level of pension you are on target to achieve.

  • Don’t fall for a pension scam

However, there may be costs involved in transferring your pension, including exit penalties imposed by your existing providers. You might miss out on investment gains if you’re out of the market while the transfer takes place. You might move to a more expensive or less flexible pension, and you could even lose valuable guarantees such as guaranteed annuities.

There are even bigger risks if you transfer out of a final salary pension scheme to consolidate your pensions, as you’ll be giving up guaranteed benefits and taking on greater risks.

  • How to make your pension last a lifetime

You should review all your pensions and make sure you understand the charges, terms and conditions for each of them. This will give you a better idea whether consolidation is a good idea. These are important decisions and so if you’re uncertain of what the best course of action is, then you should take independent financial advice. 

Patrick Connolly is a certified financial planner at Chase de Vere. Find out who our experts are on the Ask the Experts homepage.

Read more about managing your pension on Moneywise

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise, which ceased publication in August 2020.

These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

Get more news and expert articles direct to your inbox

Sign up for a free research account to get the latest news and discussion, and create your own virtual portfolio.

Free Sign Up