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. You can find a trusted adviser yourself or, if you’re over age 52, 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 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. 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 52, 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 on your pension record, find out more about transferring, and arrange to get advice from LV by viewing your quote on the Quote History page.

You will have to opt out (or leave 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 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 before the guarantee period runs out.

If you would like a value of your pension because you are getting divorced, it is important that you tell us, as that 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 explore this option in your pension record. Get a transfer quote and then go to Quotes and Options > Quote History to explore how transferring a chosen sum out of your pension would affect your guaranteed income, and 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.

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 52, you can take advantage of the competitive charges with Liverpool Victoria Financial Advice Service Limited (LVFAS) that the Trustee has arranged.

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 in and explore your options to view your transfer value estimate – remember this figure isn’t guaranteed yet.
    3. 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, so you should get financial advice before you do.
  2. Do the paperwork

    1. If you wish to proceed, log in and go to My Future > Quotes and Options to get your guaranteed transfer value quote. Remember, your quote is only guaranteed for three months, and you need to have opted out of the Fund first.
    2. Get financial advice to make sure this is the right choice for you and decide if you wish to proceed.
    3. Download and complete your Transfer Pack. Ask your adviser and receiving scheme to complete their parts of the pack.
    4. Complete the remaining questions on your application and upload your completed Transfer Pack at least 3 weeks before the transfer value guarantee deadline (or 6 weeks before if you are transferring APeCs and/or AVCs).
    5. Upload your identification documents and complete photo validation. You will need a webcam or mobile with a camera for this step.
    6. Review and submit your application. If you are unable to complete your application online, you can send your completed Transfer Pack and identification documents back to us.
  3. 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 paperwork 3 to 6 weeks before the guarantee deadline. If we receive your 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.
    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 between 4 and 6 weeks to complete your application. If we have any questions, we will be in touch.