You can combine your pension pots at any time, not just when you’re close to retirement. If you have several pensions, there can be potential advantages if you combine them, but there are also things to consider before you go ahead.

We explain what combining pensions means, the pros and cons, how to bring your pensions together into one pot, and more. 

What does combining pensions mean?

Combining your pensions, which is also known as pension consolidation, is where you bring all your pensions into the same pension plan. And when you move a pension pot from one pension scheme into another, this is called a pension transfer.

As you may change jobs throughout your life, you may also have multiple pension pots with different providers. With money spread across multiple pensions, you may find it difficult to stay on top of your total retirement savings. Combining your pensions pots into one plan could help you keep track of the money you're saving for your retirement.

Most of us will change jobs at some point during our working lifetime and as we move jobs, it’s not uncommon to lose track of our pension pots.

That’s why combining all your pensions into one plan could make your life easier – keeping track of so many different plans can be tricky and each one has its own charge.

Before you do anything though, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Look at the investment options of each pension – are you happy with the choice available?
  • Make sure you’re not going to lose out on any valuable protections, guarantees or bonuses. Compare your products before transferring.
  • Compare the annual charges to see if you could potentially save money by combining pensions.

Will you be charged an exit fee if you transfer?

Take a look at the annual statement your previous pension providers sent you, and you may find all this information there.

Transferring a pension may not be the best option for you. It’s up to you to decide if this is the right decision. If you’re not sure, speak to a financial adviser – there may be a charge for this.

It’s important to remember the value of your consolidated pension pot can still fall as well as rise and isn’t guaranteed. The final value of your pension when you come to take your benefits may be less than has been paid in. 

Any new investment funds you move your money into will have their own set of risks that will be detailed in the fund information available to you.

You can also speak to our Aegon Assist team who can give you free guidance and information to help you make the right decision. Whilst they can provide free, expert guidance, remember that they can’t give advice.

What should I do if I’ve lost track of my pots?

The first step you should take is to go through the annual statements from any of your previous pension providers.

If you’ve lost track of any pensions, the Pension Tracing Service can help. This is a free online government service.

All you’ll need is your employer’s name and when you worked there. You should be able to find who is currently responsible for the scheme and you’ll be able to get in touch with them.