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Transferring your benefits
Transfers and scams

Transferring your benefits

You can transfer all your benefits, or the value of your Additional Voluntary Contributions pot to another approved pension scheme.

Deferred members

If you have stopped paying into the scheme but haven’t yet claimed your benefits, you are known as a deferred member. From initial application to payment of the transfer value, the transfer-out process for deferred members takes about 4 months.

Active members

If you are still paying into the scheme, known as an active member, you will need to leave the scheme before you can transfer your benefits out. From initial application to the payment of the transfer value takes about 8 months.

Transfer values

You can request a transfer value estimate at any time after leaving the scheme. Once you’ve started receiving your benefits, you can no longer transfer out of the scheme and therefore would not be able to request a transfer value unless it is for divorce purposes.

You can request one free transfer value estimate every 12 months. You can request more, but you will be charged.

To request a transfer value estimate, email Railpen, the scheme administrator, at enquiries@railpen.com

Get advice before requesting a transfer

Members with a total pension pot worth more than £30,000 are required by law to get advice from a registered financial adviser before requesting a transfer. You will have to show Railpen evidence that you have sought advice.

You can find independent financial advisers in your area for guidance on your retirement planning at www.unbiased.co.uk

Watch out for transfer scams

Scammers have defrauded savers out of millions of pounds in recent years, and they show no sign of stopping. Knowing the warning signs will help protect your savings.

Fraudsters may try to lure you into an illegal pension transfer. If the transfer goes through, you might never see your pension again and you could face a large tax bill as well! 

Scammers’ tactics are becoming ever more sophisticated. They will try to flatter, tempt and pressure you. 

Be wary of offers of ‘deals’ such as overseas investments, guaranteed returns, or limited offers, one-off pension investments, cold calls, upfront cash or promises to help you access your pension funds early. These offers are unlikely to be genuine. 

If you’re under age 55, you usually cannot release your pension, unless you are too ill to work. 

Before agreeing to any pension transfers:

If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, please report it immediately to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Learn more in The Pension Regulator’s pension scams booklet below.