My old employer chose NOW Pensions as the auto-enrole pension (despite a 1.2 star rating on trustpilot.com) and now I want to transfer the money accrued in that account to my current pension. I've tried for a while to find a transfer out form on their website and have sent a message to them asking for one, but there's been silence on their end. I'm wondering if anyone knows where to get one?
In my experience, pension transfers are handled by the target provider. Here is an example - transferring to the Hargreaves Lansdown SIPP:
How to transfer
We don’t charge anything to transfer to us. But it’s a good idea to check if your provider charges exit fees, or if you’ll lose any benefits or guarantees.
Here's how transferring works:
- You apply to transfer
- We contact your provider and start the transfer
- We keep you updated with progress
- We tell you when everything arrives
- When you’re ready, you start investing
And here's another: the AJBell YouInvest SIPP:
How to transfer
You'll need to open a SIPP with us if you don't have one already. This takes less than 10 minutes, and you can do it online.
During the application, you'll be asked to enter the details of the account(s) you want to transfer. We may also need you to post us some documentation.
Already have a SIPP with us? You can start the transfer process by logging in and from the 'My account' menu, choosing 'Transfers', then 'SIPP'.
That's it. We'll handle the rest of the admin from there and let you know when the transfer is complete.
As the transfer process goes through, you should receive communications from the old provider informing you what's happening, as an anti-fraud measure. But you shouldn't need to deal with them any further yourself.
Note that this straightforward process applies to defined contribution pensions only - for defined benefit schemes (aka 'final salary'), such as your "teacher's pension" quite possibly was, there may be quirks, which both the above providers gloss over more or less:
Types of pensions you can transfer
You can transfer most types of pension to the HL SIPP:
(list of DC pension types)
If you have a final salary pension or another pension type not listed above, please give us a call on 0117 980 9926 and we may be able to help you transfer.
What to check before transferring
You can easily transfer most types of UK pensions to us – even pensions you've already started taking an income from. But before you decide to transfer yours, it’s important you do the following:
Consider talking to a suitably qualified financial adviser about whether transferring to a SIPP is right for you. If you have a final salary pension worth at least £30,000, you have to seek financial advice before transferring it
Years of mis-selling scandals have left UK financial services providers (rightly) paranoid about even allowing their clients to make poor decisions, so they would be very wary about accepting a transfer out of a scheme with any guarantees or side-benefits.
However, all auto-enrollment schemes are Defined Contributions, so in your particualar case right now there shouldn't be a problem.