How to transfer your UK pension as a resident of the USA

Are you considering transferring your pension from one scheme to another? This page will provide you with an overview of the process of pension transfers, and help you make an informed decision about whether or not to transfer your pension.

What is a
pension transfer?

A pension transfer is the process of moving your pension savings from one scheme to another. This may be from one workplace pension to another, or from a workplace pension to a personal pension. Pension transfers can also involve transferring funds from a defined benefit pension scheme to a defined contribution pension scheme.

Why transfer
your pension?

There are a number reasons why you might consider transferring your pension:

1. Consolidation

You may want to consolidate multiple pensions into a single plan to simplify management and potentially reduce fees.

2. Better investment options

You may be able to access a wider range of investment options and potentially better returns by transferring your pension.

3. Flexibility

You may want to transfer your pension to a scheme that offers greater flexibility in terms of when and how you may be able to access your pension savings.

4. Lower fees

You may be able to reduce the fees you pay on your pension by transferring to a scheme with lower fees.

When is a pension transfer not suitable?

While there are benefits to pension transfers, they are not suitable for everyone. Here are some reasons why a pension transfer may not be suitable for some people:

1. Loss of benefits

Transferring from a defined benefit pension scheme to a defined contribution scheme may result in a loss of benefits, such as a guaranteed income in retirement.

2. Penalties

Some pension schemes may charge penalties for transferring out of the scheme.

3. Market risks

Transferring to a new pension scheme may expose you to market risks, and you may end up with less money in retirement than if you had stayed with your original pension scheme.

4. Unsuitable investment options

Not all pension schemes may offer suitable investment options for your needs. 

How to transfer your pension

If you decide that a pension transfer is right for you, here are the steps to follow:

1. Check the value of your current pension and the potential value of your new pension scheme.

2. Check the fees and charges of both schemes.

3. Consider any benefits that you may be giving up by transferring your pension.

4. Seek professional advice from a financial advisor to ensure that a pension transfer is the right decision for you.

5. Contact your current pension provider and your new pension provider to begin the transfer process.


Transferring your pension can be a complex process, and it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons before making a decision. By following the steps outlined in this guide and seeking professional advice, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to transfer your pension.

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