pensions

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Found 5th Oct 2017
Abit of a general question here and I know there's probably no right or wrong answer but some advice, opinions or even personal experiences would be appreciated?

Is it bad to have, say 3-4 separate private pensions, which have been started over the years from various employers (due to job changes etc)...

Or is it advisable to consolidate these pensions into a new private pension with a current employer?

I'm aware putting all your eggs into one basket isn't always wise, yet some say it's easier to manage. But there's benefits, guarantees etc attached to each of these separate pensions, so is it also advisable to keep them separate or join them?
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You really need to speak to a specialist pension adviser.
I have 3 different pension plans, one emplyee one where I was employed for only 2 years until 1989, Another employee one where I was employed for 14 years until 2003 and now I have a large standalone private pension.
The private pension I get 6 monthly performance statements and then once a year my pension adviser comes to see me to see if my circumstances have changed, discuss the pension portfolio and see if my risk aversement has changed at all. He then tells the man overseeing my stocks and shares to tweak the portfolio accordingly.
my private pension portfolio I can influence the risk involved and is looked at daily by the provider. My other two are just left alone to run their course.
many employee schemes will not let you consolidate elsewhere, so check that first.
If any of your deferred pensions where final salary schemes you are most likely best to leave them where they are.

I like you have a few deferred pensions - I have evaluated transfer in values in the past and I was always better off leaving things as they were.

As Toptrumpet says specialst advice will help.
Van 1973 has it right , first always consult an IFA if there is a fair sum involved , secondly if any of your pensions has a deferred final salary element it will almost certainly be unwise to consolidate that particular one .
in order to answer your question, i would need to know more about the pension plans that you have. certainly when you get near to retirement then it is best to consolidate them as a bigger single fund will buy a bigger pension, assuming that these are group personal pensions and not defined benefit pensions.
It is not so simple as stated above and professional advice would be wise. For Money Purchase schemes where the pot is yours and the underlying investment is doing fine, there is no pressing reason to move or consolidate. Some of these old schemes also have enhanced benefits which you may lose in the move. If the investment is not doing well, you may wish to move the old pot into your current scheme (assuming it is allowed under scheme rules) so the growth is enhanced. Or, it could be moved into a SIPP, where you have more control.
For Final Salary Schemes (Defined Benefits) historically it has nearly always been wise to leave well alone as the benefits are usually very generous. But, just at this time, there are two factors to consider. First, is the scheme well funded? Many household name companies have huge black holes in the these schemes. There is no absolute guarantee that you will get what you were promised. Companies such as TATA and Monarch have had underfunded pension schemes which will no longer meet the promises made. Secondly, it is possible, just at this time, to transfer out with a transfer value of between 30-50 times the pension benefit. Normally, the transfer value is around 20x so not worthwhile. This is possible due to extremely low bond yields and bonds are what pension funds buy to pay out your pension when you retire. Your transfer value is calculated roughly on the value of the bonds required to fund your pension. I work with a group of people who benefited from a now closed Defined Benefits scheme, some of whom have exercised this option. The lump sum payments have been frankly eye-watering.
These are big decisions and none of them are without risk, so proper advice is essential and in the DB transfer case required by the government.
Edited by: "airbus330" 6th Oct 2017
airbus3301 h, 46 m ago

It is not so simple as stated above and professional advice would be wise. …It is not so simple as stated above and professional advice would be wise. For Money Purchase schemes where the pot is yours and the underlying investment is doing fine, there is no pressing reason to move or consolidate. Some of these old schemes also have enhanced benefits which you may lose in the move. If the investment is not doing well, you may wish to move the old pot into your current scheme (assuming it is allowed under scheme rules) so the growth is enhanced. Or, it could be moved into a SIPP, where you have more control.For Final Salary Schemes (Defined Benefits) historically it has nearly always been wise to leave well alone as the benefits are usually very generous. But, just at this time, there are two factors to consider. First, is the scheme well funded? Many household name companies have huge black holes in the these schemes. There is no absolute guarantee that you will get what you were promised. Companies such as TATA and Monarch have had underfunded pension schemes which will no longer meet the promises made. Secondly, it is possible, just at this time, to transfer out with a transfer value of between 40-50 times the pension benefit. Normally, the transfer value is around 20x so not worthwhile. This is possible due to extremely low bond yields and bonds are what pension funds buy to pay out your pension when you retire. Your transfer value is calculated roughly on the value of the bonds required to fund your pension. I work with a group of people who benefited from a now closed Defined Benefits scheme, some of whom have exercised this option. The lump sum payments have been frankly eye-watering.These are big decisions and none of them are without risk, so proper advice is essential and in the DB transfer case required by the government.


Tata steels transfer value is 24x just for info, good enough for me to move it away from them
Advice only needed by the government above £30000
Edited by: "snoopy18" 6th Oct 2017
snoopy187 h, 30 m ago

Tata steels transfer value is 24x just for info, good enough for me to …Tata steels transfer value is 24x just for info, good enough for me to move it away from themAdvice only needed by the government above £30000


Hi, thanks for that info. 30k is the threshold for advice. Just for comparison, the transfer values offered to my colleagues early this year were around 44x. This was for a well funded scheme which had a low deficit. The actual multiplier varies a little person to person depending on when the valuation is done.
I hope you enjoy your pension, Lord knows the TATA steelworkers deserve every penny.
airbus3301 h, 34 m ago

Hi, thanks for that info. 30k is the threshold for advice. Just for …Hi, thanks for that info. 30k is the threshold for advice. Just for comparison, the transfer values offered to my colleagues early this year were around 44x. This was for a well funded scheme which had a low deficit. The actual multiplier varies a little person to person depending on when the valuation is done.I hope you enjoy your pension, Lord knows the TATA steelworkers deserve every penny.


Hi, 44x would be amazing
24x was an average, it doesn't vary much maybe 25x
Ours was one of the best schemes in the country at one time
thanks for the well wishes
I am only transferring out not taking the pension at the minute as only 51 but at least I will be able to decide when to stop work and not them as they keep moving the goalposts so you can't trust them anymore
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