How do you bring pension plans together?

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Morgan Laing

March 19, 2024

4 mins read

You might have more than one pension to your name. They might even be scattered across different providers. If you’re wondering about bringing pension plans together into one place, here are a few things worth knowing. 

Why do people bring their pension plans together?

Each time you start a new job, your new employer will usually set up a new pension plan that both you and they pay into. So if you’ve had more than one job, you could have at least one plan out there that you’re not currently paying into.  

Some people choose to combine some or all of their plans into a single plan. You might do this by transferring old plans to your current provider or by transferring plans to a different provider. 

There can be some real benefits to combining your plans. For one, you can see your pension savings in one place. It can also help you get out of a situation where you’ve got lots of small pension pots dotted around, each with their own set of charges. Plus, it can help you cut down on admin.

But doing this won’t be right for everyone, and you’ll need to check that you won’t be missing out on any benefits or guarantees – more on that in a moment. 

How do you start bringing plans together?

1. Track down your plans

You might be in a situation where you know you have pension plans out there but you’re not sure who your providers are. If you can’t find any paperwork with information about your plans at home, you could try out the government’s Pension Tracing Service. This could help you find contact details for pension schemes you might’ve paid into. You can use these contact details to get more information about your old plans.

2. Work out if combining is right for you

Next up, it’s important to figure out whether bringing your plans together is the right thing for your circumstances. 

Some plans come with valuable benefits or guarantees that you could lose if you transfer into a different plan. For example, you might have a defined benefit (or ‘final salary’) plan, which pays you an income for the rest of your life. Or you might have a plan with, say, additional death benefits or a ‘guaranteed annuity rate’.

It’s worth looking for any paperwork that might have details about any special features your plan has. Or get in touch with your provider for more information about your plan. 

If you’re not sure whether bringing your plans together is right for you, it could be worth talking to a financial adviser. If you don’t already have one, you can find one at Unbiased. You can check if a financial adviser has been authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) at

If you’re looking to transfer a defined benefit plan that’s worth more than £30,000, the FCA requires that you take financial advice before transferring.

Lived abroad and want to transfer an overseas pension to the UK? Or want to transfer a UK pension abroad? You can find out what kind of things you’ll need to consider on MoneyHelper.

3. Get the ball rolling

If you’ve decided that combining your plans is right for you, you can get the ball rolling by shopping around and seeing which provider suits you best. 

Charges vary from provider to provider, and some might give you discounts. If you're a Standard Life customer and you'd like to check your charges and any discounts you have, you could try taking a look at your online account (if you’ve got one) or checking your paperwork.

Once you’ve settled on a provider, you could see if they have an option to combine your plans online. If you already have an online account with that provider, you might be asked to log in to start your application. If you don’t have an online account, you might be asked to create one. 

When filling out an application to combine your plans, you’ll probably be asked for the names of your providers, your plan numbers, and an estimate of how much your plans are worth.

In some circumstances, you might want or need to get in touch with a provider about combining your plans. You can check for contact details on their website, or on paperwork if they’ve sent you any in the past.

Bring your plans together with Standard Life

Want to bring your pension plans together with us? Just give us three details and we’ll do the work for you. 

Don’t forget: 

  • We won’t charge you to bring your pensions together
  • You can start, stop or change your payments in at any time
  • You can manage your money online or on our app

Transfer your plans

The information here is based on our understanding in March 2024 and shouldn’t be taken as financial advice.

A pension is an investment and its value can go down as well as up and may be worth less than was paid in.

Standard Life accepts no responsibility for information in external websites. These are provided for general information.

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