• Understand why you may want to think about combining pension pots.
  • Understand how you can do this and some of the important things to consider before combining pensions.

Read time

2 mins

Pensions tracing

If you have multiple pensions which you've lost the details of – or simply forgotten about – the first thing you'll need to do, is a pensions tracing exercise to track down your lost savings. Find out more in our short film about tracing a lost pension, or visit the government's pension tracing service. All you need to know is the name of the organisations you have worked for.


Pot consolidation

Once you’ve found out what pensions you have, it could be a good idea for you to consider consolidating any defined contribution pensions (also known as a pension transfer). This will allow you to manage them all in one place and could result in lower overall annual charges.

If you hold any defined benefit pensions then it would be wise to get in touch with an adviser before you consider transferring and losing the guarantees they may provide. Scottish Widows does not usually accept transfer requests from Defined Benefit (DB) schemes unless arranged through a financial adviser to ensure you’ve received advice, so you may wish to check what your provider's transfer rules are.

Not all types of pension can, or should, be transferred. There are some things to check before you go ahead with a transfer:

  • You need to be aware of any guarantees or special features that you might lose on transfer.
  • You should compare the charges and fund ranges so that you are aware if you are transferring from a low charge scheme to a higher charge scheme.
  • Some of your existing providers may apply an exit charge for transferring out.


If you're still not sure what to do with your pension(s), please speak to an independent financial adviser (please be aware that there's normally a charge for any advice they give you). You can find one by visiting the Unbiased website. They'll be able to help you understand your situation and what could be best for you.


How do you combine your pensions?

If you're happy to proceed with consolidating your pensions, most pension providers have an online tool to help you do it yourself.


Watch our films to find out more

Scottish Widows Be Money Well is committed to providing information in a way that is accessible and useful for our users. This information, however, is not in any way intended to amount to authority or advice on which reliance should be placed. You should seek professional advice as appropriate and required. Any sites, products or services named in this module are just examples of what's available. Scottish Widows does not endorse the services they provide. The information in this module was last updated on 11th October 2023.


How does a workplace pension work?

How much should I save for retirement?

Will my pension be enough for retirement?

6 Tips to make the most of your pension