Transfers & partial transfers

You might be considering transferring some or all of your Fund benefits to a different provider, to have more flexibility in how you could take your retirement savings. But if you transfer, you could be worse off. That’s because you’ll be giving up a guaranteed income for life (which may increase to keep up with inflation) as well as valuable benefits for your loved ones when you die, in exchange for a fixed amount of money that could run out.


If you’re considering this option, you should get independent financial advice. In fact, the law says that if your transfer value is over £30,000, you must get approval by an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) before you are able to transfer out.

Can I just transfer part of my benefits?

In most cases, yes, you can. It’s called a ‘partial transfer’ and subject to certain requirements, you could transfer out some of your benefits and leave the rest in the Fund. You can also choose to transfer only your additional pension contributions (APeCs) out of the Fund and keep your other benefits within the Fund. Please note, if you live in the Isle of Man, partial transfers are not available.

10 things to think about

Before you get financial advice about transferring, consider the following:

  1. Your Fund income is guaranteed for life. Your Fund pension income is guaranteed to last for the rest of your life, and you know what you’re going to get every month. An average 55-year-old man today will live to 85. A woman will live to 88.
  2. The Fund gives you a cash option. With the Fund, you can take some of your future benefits as tax-free cash. That way, you and your spouse get some cash AND a guaranteed income for life.
  3. The Fund helps against inflation. Your income from the Fund can go up each year, to give you valuable protection against inflation.
  4. The Fund protects your family. With the Fund, your spouse or partner will get an income if they outlive you – so can your dependent children. You don’t need to worry about leaving them with nothing.
  5. The Fund takes away worries. Your monthly income from the Fund can’t go down. If you transfer out, you might have to manage investments and pay advisers. This can be hard to do – especially if your health gets worse.
  6. Your Fund income is likely to be worth more. A transfer value can seem like a lot of money. But remember: it might need to last you the rest of your life. And it’s unlikely to be as much as the total value that the Fund would give you and your family – especially if you and your spouse or partner live longer than you expect.
  7. The Fund is better for most people. The Financial Conduct Authority says that most people with defined benefit pensions like the Fund “will be best advised to keep them” rather than transfer out. Your financial adviser will start from that position.
  8. You can’t change your mind. If you transfer out, you can’t go back to the Fund. So it’s really important that you take time to properly weigh up the pros and cons. Talk to your spouse or partner about what happens to their income if they outlive you.
  9. Good advice is worth paying for. With a big decision like transferring out, it’s well worth paying to see an independent financial adviser. To protect you, the government requires you to get advice if your transfer value is over £30,000. The NatWest Fund Trustee has secured preferential advice services for you with LV= Financial Advice Services Limited. You will need to opt out of the Fund first. Alternatively, you can find another financial adviser regulated to provide pension transfer advice.

  10. Watch out for scammers. 8 people a second are contacted by scammers, trying to cheat them out of their pension.

If you’re an active member, before you can proceed with pension transfer financial advice, you will need to make a decision about opting out of the NatWest Group Pension Fund and becoming a deferred member.


Your transfer quote


Before you decide to transfer out, you should get a quote to see how much your transfer value might be. You can download a PDF telling you your transfer value with some context of what you’d be giving up, but also giving you an overview of your options if you did transfer out.

Once you’ve run a quote, you will have more resources available to you to explore partial transfers or to get advice through LV by viewing your quote on the Quote History page.

What if I want to transfer only some of my benefits?

If you would like to transfer only a portion of your benefits:

  • Once you've run a transfer out quote, go to Quote History and click on the Explore partial transfers option. Please note, if you live in the Isle of Man, partial transfers are not available.
  • Use the slider bar to see:
    • how transferring a chosen sum out of your pension would affect your guaranteed income
    • how much you could transfer out, while still securing a chosen level of annual benefits.

When you’ve selected your preferred partial transfer amount, download a PDF quotation. Contact us if you need help with this step.

You will have had to opt out (or leave the Fund or the bank) to be able to transfer out. If you have not opted out, your transfer quote is not guaranteed. If you have already opted out, transfer quotes are guaranteed for 3 months only.

You’ll also only be able to get one guaranteed quote in any three-month period, so it’s important that you request your quote at the right time, according to your plans and taking into account the steps you will need to take (see below) before the guarantee period runs out.

Your transfer timeline

Transferring out can take longer than you’d expect. If you are still working at the bank, you will need to opt out first, which can take up to 2 months. You’ll then be able to get a guaranteed quote, but you will also need to get advice within the guaranteed period of the quote (3 months). To help you understand more about the process, and how much time you should allow, use the online Retirement Timeline. You’ll need to fill in your intended transfer date, and we’ll give you a steer of what you should be doing, and by when, to be able transfer at your chosen date.


Get advice

If the total value of your pension is more than £30,000, you will need to get advice and approval from an Independent Financial Adviser before you can transfer out.

It’s important for you to plan to receive this advice in time to be able to take the next steps within the guaranteed period of the quote, to avoid having to request another quote (and the advice) again.

If you’re ready to transfer

  1. Do the paperwork

    1. Download and print the full Guide to Transferring (you’ll already have this if we sent you a transfer pack in the post).
    2. Complete and post the following back to us at least 3 weeks before the transfer value guarantee deadline (or 6 weeks before if you are transferring APeCs and/or AVCs):
      • Forms:
        • Financial advice form
        • Transfer request form, ensuring you complete the % you would like to transfer
        • Identity information form
        • Receiving Scheme form
        • Financial guidance forms, which we’ll need if your transfer value is £30,000 or more.
      • A copy of the photo page of your passport.
  2. We’ll process your request

    1. If we receive your completed paperwork 3/6 weeks before the guarantee deadline. If we receive paperwork after this, we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to process your request before your transfer quotation expires. This means your transfer value will no longer be guaranteed and it could go down in the future.
    2. We’ll contact you if anything is missing.
    3. We’ll contact any APeCs/AVCs providers to get the value of these benefits.

How long will it take?

Once we’ve received your completed paperwork, it will take around 15 working days to complete your transfer (or between 4 and 6 weeks if you are transferring any APeCs and/or AVCs). Use the Retirement Timeline to help you understand more about the process, and how much time you should allow.