Transfer my pension.

We're not able to tell you whether transferring your pension is the right choice for you, but we can tell you some of the things you should think about.

You can only transfer your pension to another pension arrangement if it’s registered with HMRC. This could be:

  • An employer’s scheme (if it’s able and willing to accept transfers in); or
  • A personal pension arrangement; or
  • A recognised overseas pension arrangement.

Taking a transfer from the Scheme means that you’ll nearly always be converting a defined benefit pension into a cash value and transferring it into a defined contribution fund, where you’ll need to decide where to invest it and keep an eye on how much it’s worth.

It may not always be in your best financial interests to transfer your benefits out of the Scheme and it will depend on:

  • Your plans for retirement;
  • Your individual circumstances;
  • How much you have saved in the Scheme and elsewhere; and
  • How much income you need in retirement and how you would like to receive it.

Pension flexibility.

You might want to transfer your pension to another scheme so you can take your benefits in a more flexible way. Under a defined contribution arrangement, you might be able to:

  • Take all your savings as a taxable cash lump sum
  • Receive a regular pension (known as an annuity)
  • Keep your savings invested and take money out as small lump sums or regular payments

The options available will depend on the pension provider and the arrangement you choose. Once transferred, your pension will be invested into the funds made available by your new provider until you decide to take it.

Getting advice

Although this may involve an initial cost to you, getting support to make the right choice for your circumstances will mean you’re more likely to be better off in the long run.

The Trustee and the Pensions Administration Team cannot give you financial advice. You should discuss the implications of a transfer with a financial adviser before making a decision.

If the transfer value of your M&S pension is £30,000 or more, you will need to take financial advice and confirm you have done so before a transfer can be made.

You can find an independent financial adviser in your local area by visiting MoneyHelper.

Watch out for scams!

It’s important to make sure that the scheme you’re transferring your benefits to is legitimate and not a fraud. Make sure you read the Pensions Scams page to find out how to protect yourself.

Calculating your transfer value.

When we work out the value of your transfer, we make assumptions about future events and how much cash the Scheme would need to have today to pay your pension in the future. This includes:

  • how much your pension might increase in line with the Scheme Rules
  • your life expectancy, based on statistical averages not individual circumstances
  • what investment returns the Scheme might achieve in the future on the cash invested today

In addition, to provide a value as at the date of your request an adjustment is applied to reflect current investment market conditions. This is updated monthly.

As the Trustee will review the assumptions it uses and investment market conditions change from month to month, you will find that your transfer value will go up or down over time.

Get a transfer quote.

You can get an estimated value for transferring your pension straight away by logging in to your pension account on the M&S Pension Scheme Portal. If you’ve not used the Portal before and need help, go to Manage my pension online.

Your estimated online transfer value provides a simple breakdown and helps you take that first step in deciding whether transferring is right for you. It’s available 24/7 and free of charge. You can find a step-by-step guide on how to run an estimated transfer value here.

If you’d like a guaranteed transfer value, so you can explore transferring in more detail, you’ll need to request a transfer value statement and the forms to allow the transfer to take place from the Pensions Administration Team. A request for a transfer statement will normally take around five working days. It may take longer if your pension is more complicated to calculate or we receive a higher number of requests than usual. You can only request one transfer statement free of charge in any 12-month period. A charge of £250 per statement is applied for any additional requests.

When getting a transfer quote please be aware…

  • The transfer value of your pension is only guaranteed for three months from the date it is calculated. This means that if you received estimates in the past, the current transfer value could be higher or lower and any future estimates may be different.
  • Payment of the transfer value will be made directly to your chosen pension arrangement.
  • Once you have transferred your benefits to another arrangement, you will no longer have any entitlement to benefits in the Scheme.
  • The Trustee is required by law to prevent any transfer that it thinks is suspicious and so may delay or refuse transfers if there are doubts about the legitimacy of the receiving scheme or the circumstances of the request.