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I've been paying into pensions since I got my first job after leaving university. I've changed jobs 4 times over 10 years and I now have a scattering of company pensions from various providers.

So I'm now in a position where I have about 4 different pensions only one of which I'm actively paying into.

Should I consider consolidating these all into my current company (contributory) scheme? I'm presuming there will be some kind of fee/penalty for doing this?

Is it advisable to leave a pension to accrue interest without actively paying money into it?

  • Always keep track of your pensions and how they are performing. It is your lifebuoy when you are old. Don't have a callous attitude towards your pesnions. – DumbCoder Apr 17 '15 at 14:07
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    @DumbCoder Is any of what you said pertinent to the actual post...? Fortune cookie responses like this don't help anyone. Specific requests demand specific responses. – Chris Apr 18 '15 at 9:59
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Yes, you should consider it. You should not necessarily do it though.

You will need to investigate the management charges and performance on each scheme, as well as transfer penalties and whether your current scheme actually permits transfers in.

Unfortunately the only way to do this is to dig through the small print for each scheme you are a member of (and probably to look online for most recent charges and performance info). This is not a simple undertaking and many people opt not to bother. However, it is almost certainly the case that the older schemes are invested in funds with higher charges and/or poorer performance, so if you can bring yourself to put in the research it is probably worth it.

The risk of course is that with all your eggs in one basket, if something goes horribly wrong you end up with insufficient pension. On the other hand, if your current scheme has more in it and you have relatively small amounts stagnating in the old schemes, then this is a low risk.

Finally, you might want to consider taking out a personal or stakeholder pension instead and asking your employers if they would consider contributing to that rather than setting up yet another scheme, especially if you move jobs again.

  • Older pensions are not necessarily to worse one. You really need to read through the small print. If you happen to work for a very large company they happen to set up their own scheme (instead of commissioning an insurance company to do it). For some of those large corporate pools you can have the company footing the bill for the wrapper and save 0.5% of more per annum (you only pay the fund charges which also happened to be negotiated) – Jeff Apr 18 '15 at 16:47

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