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 before you are able to transfer out. You can find a trusted adviser yourself or, if you’re over age 50, you can take advantage of the competitive charges with Liverpool Victoria Financial Advice Service Limited (LVFAS) that the Trustee has arranged.

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 84. A woman will live to 87.
  2. The Fund gives you a cash option. With the Fund, you can take some of your future benefits as tax-free cash, up to a capped amount (usually this is 25% of the value of your total pension). That way, you and your spouse get some cash AND a guaranteed income for life. Learn more about pension allowances.
  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. To transfer out, you have to first opt out of the Fund and you can’t re-join. So, it’s really important that you take time to properly weigh up the pros and cons. Talk to your spouse or partner about your decision, as it could affect 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 speak to independent financial adviser. To protect you, the government requires you to get advice if your transfer value is over £30,000. You can find a trusted adviser yourself or, if you’re over age 50, you can take advantage of the competitive charges with Liverpool Victoria Financial Advice Service Limited (LVFAS) that the Trustee has arranged.

  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 transfer out of the Fund, 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 find out how much your benefits would be worth as a transfer value. You can get a quote, find out more about transferring, and arrange to get advice from LVFAS by logging in and going to My Future > Quotes and Options. If you’ve already requested a transfer quote, you’ll find this under My Future > Quote History.

You will have to opt out of the Fund to be able to transfer out. If you have not opted out, you can still get a transfer quote, but the value 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 3-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 before the guarantee period runs out.

If you would like a transfer quote because you are getting divorced, it is important that you tell us, as the value is not guaranteed and there is additional information we need to provide to you. See Changing circumstances for more information.

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

If you would like to transfer only a portion of your benefits, you can view a partial transfer quote and explore how transferring a chosen sum out of your pension would affect your guaranteed income. You can also check how much you could transfer out, while still securing a chosen level of annual benefits.

If you want to proceed with a partial transfer, contact us.

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 financial advice within the guaranteed period of the quote (3 months). Find out more about the steps you need to take and how much time you should allow if you’re ready to transfer.


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. You can find a trusted adviser yourself or, if you’re over age 50, you can take advantage of the competitive charges with Liverpool Victoria Financial Advice Service Limited (LVFAS) that the Trustee has arranged. You can get advice with LVFAS through the online application process.

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. Get the process started

    1. Download The guide to transferring to learn more about your options.
    2. Log into your pension record and go to My Future > Quotes and Options. Follow the instructions to view your transfer value estimate – note this figure isn’t guaranteed yet.
  2. Apply to transfer online

    1. If you’re still working for the bank, you’ll need to opt out of the Fund before you can transfer your benefits. If you opt out of the Fund, you’ll be giving up valuable benefits and will not be able to re-join the Fund.
    2. Once you’ve viewed your transfer value estimate, select the ‘Transfer out’ option and follow the instructions to learn more about transferring, and the steps you’ll need to take.
    3. Get financial advice to make sure this is the right choice for you and decide if you wish to proceed.
    4. If you wish to proceed, select ‘Guarantee your transfer value’ to get your guaranteed transfer quote. Remember, your quote is only guaranteed for 3 months and you need to have opted out of the Fund first (or have left the bank and be working elsewhere).
    5. Download and complete your Transfer Pack. Ask your adviser and receiving scheme to complete and sign the relevant sections and return the pack to you.
    6. Complete your application online by answering the remaining questions and uploading the relevant completed sections of your Transfer Pack. Please do this at least 3 weeks before the transfer value guarantee deadline (or 6 weeks before if you are transferring APeCs and/or AVCs) so we have time to process it.
    7. Upload your identification documents and complete your photo validation. You will need a webcam or mobile with a camera for this step.
    8. Review and submit your application.
  3. Do I have to complete the application online?

    If you are unable to complete your application online, you can send your completed Transfer Pack and identification documents back to us.

  4. We’ll process your request

    1. We’ll send you an email confirmation when we receive your completed application and will contact you if anything is missing.
    2. We need to receive your completed application 3 to 6 weeks before the quote guarantee deadline. If we receive your application 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.
    3. We’ll contact any APeCs/AVCs providers to get the value of these benefits.
  5. How long will it take?

    Once we’ve received your completed application, it will usually take between 3 and 6 weeks to complete your application. However, processing times will vary on a case-by-case basis, and there are lots of reasons that your transfer request could take longer than this. For example, delays involving a third party, or carrying out extra validation checks, can sometimes mean the process takes several months. This is all to keep your money safe. If we have any questions or need any extra information, we’ll contact you.