Transferring into the Aviva Pension to access income drawdown

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In a nutshell

Transferring to the Aviva Pension to start accessing income drawdown is a two stage process. You'll need to:

Transfer your pension to the Aviva Pension

This usually takes between 3 - 6 weeks

Apply to access income drawdown through the Aviva Pension

This usually takes 2 weeks.

Before you begin

Understand the income drawdown process

Income drawdown is a feature of the Aviva Pension, so it's important that you take time to read about the pension we offer.

You'll find out more about the income drawdown process once you've transferred your pension on Start Taking Income Drawdown From Your Aviva Pension.

You also need to understand how taking money from your pension fund could affect your tax position. Your tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.

Make sure you're happy with your decision

Transferring your pension and accessing drawdown are both big decisions and there is no guarantee they will be in your best interests, so make sure they are right for you and that you've reviewed all the options for taking money from your pension. Once you've transferred your pension to us, it's unlikely your current pension provider will be able to take it back if you change your mind. If your current provider does not take your pension back you will need to find another authorised provider who will accept it. You won't get tax relief on your pension transfer, though you may on future contributions.

Shop around

You don't have to access drawdown from the same provider you originally chose for your pension. Before deciding if transferring to the Aviva Pension, to access income drawdown, is right for you, make sure you shop around, as charges and investment options may differ between providers. Remember, if you're unsure what features your current pension plan has, you can always check with your current provider.

Talk to an expert

If you're not sure about transferring and accessing drawdown, it's a good idea to speak to a financial adviser. An adviser may charge you for their services and in some circumstances advice will be required. Visit our page to find out more about getting financial advice.

Things to check

Check the pensions we can’t accept

  • Defined contribution pensions with a guaranteed annuity rate if the value is over £30,000
  • Defined contribution pensions with any other safeguarded benefits or guarantees if the value is over £30,000
  • Defined benefit pensions if the value is over £30,000

We are unable to accept pensions that you’ve already started taking an income from, no matter the value.

We may refuse the transfer if we identify that your pension(s) includes these features, and you could lose out financially if this happens.

Check if you’d lose any benefits

These may include:

  • The opportunity to take more than 25% tax-free cash
  • The chance to be paid a loyalty bonus
  • Built-in or enhanced life insurance benefits or waiver of premiums
  • Enhanced death benefits
  • The option to retire early
  • A guranteed retirement income

Your current pension plan may also have different charges compared to the Aviva Pension, and you may be charged an exit fee by your current pension provider.

Should you be in poor health, there are other considerations such as potential inheritance tax implications, and you should speak to a financial adviser before proceeding

Research your investments

Make sure you research your investment options as what we offer may differ from your current provider. You can then either select how to allocate your transfer now or, if you're not ready, we'll hold your money in a cash account, which currently has a variable interest rate payable monthly, until you're ready to invest it. If the interest rate on the cash account is less than what we charge for managing it, the amount in the cash account will reduce. More details are at aviva.co.uk/bank-interest-rates.

When researching your options, make sure you check the charges, capacity for loss and attitude towards risk, as well as your own aims and personal circumstances.

It's important to remember that the investments you've used to grow your fund are not necessarily suitable for those taking an income - you may want to review and make sure you are invested in the right way.

Transferring: what you'll need to hand:

  • Details of your existing pension plan(s)
  • A recent valuation
  • Bank details
  • Your National Insurance number

Important features about the Aviva Pension

You'll need to transfer at least £5,000, or £1,000 if you make regular payments into your Aviva Pension. To start accessing drawdown, you'll need to be at least 55.

Investing

The Aviva Pension is a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) which allows you to put your money into investment funds, so you'll need to be comfortable managing your own investments. On successful completion of the pension transfer, your money will be placed in the cash account. You can then choose where to invest your money, or it can remain as cash within the cash account until you've chosen how to invest. Make sure you check the interest rate on the cash account - if it is lower than what we charge to manage it, the amount in your cash account will reduce in value.

While the transfer is taking place, your funds will not be invested for the time it takes to complete the transfer. This means that you will not benefit from any rise in the price of investments during that period.

As with all investments, your money could go down as well as up and you may get less back than has been invested or transferred. Your future income is not guaranteed and will depend on factors like how much money you withdraw and fund performance.

Charges

There are some charges associated with the Aviva Pension. Here's how they work.

Aviva charge

The Aviva charge is our annual cost for managing your investments. If you have an Aviva Stocks & Shares ISA or Investment Account as well as an Aviva Pension purchased online, direct from Aviva, we'll include these when we calculate your Aviva charge. This approach rewards you for the total value of your holdings.

Value of your investments Annual charge
First £50,000 0.4%
Next £200,000 0.35%
Next £250,000 0.25%
Amounts above £500,000 0%

The Aviva charge is calculated daily and taken monthly from your cash account - that's the part of your account that holds your money before it is invested - so make sure there's enough money in there to cover the charge. Take a look at the terms and conditions for more information about the cash account and the Aviva charge.

Fund manager charge

Fund managers manage the funds you invest in. When you are considering where to invest your money, you can find full details of the fund manager charge in the Key Investor Information Document (KIID) or Key Information Document (KID) for your chosen fund(s). The charge will then be shown on your statement as an Ongoing Charge Figure (OCF).

Paper correspondence charge

We will normally send you information about your account electronically. If you would rather receive paper correspondence there's a charge of £3.00 per month for this service.

Online account

You'll manage your pension online, so you'll have full control of what you're investing in and easy access to your account information whenever you want.

Read important information

Before transferring, take a look at the documents below. These will give you more details of the aims, risks, charges, minimum payments and tax treatment involved in the Aviva Pension:

These important documents explain the basis of the agreement you'll be entering into.

How long will the transfer take?

You can apply to transfer your pension online, so there's no need to fill out forms and send them back to us. The transfer process normally takes 3 to 6 weeks, depending on your current provider and then an additional 2 weeks to complete the income drawdown application. You can follow your progress using the transfer tracker on MyInvestmentPortfolio in MyAviva.

Step 1 - Choose your investments

Take a look at your investment options and choose where to invest. You can decide this later if you want - we'll hold your money in a cash account until you're ready. Income drawdown takes money from cash, so if you do not leave money in the cash account, you will need to sell investments before you're able to take your drawdown amount.

Step 2 - Apply online

Complete your application - the information you share with us will be used to perform anti-money laundering and fraud checks. We'll let you know if we need anything further.

Step3 - We'll talk to your provider

Once we receive it, we'll contact your current provider to arrange the transfer.

Step 4 - Start managing your pension

We'll let you know once the transfer's complete. You'll be able to start managing your pension straight away.

Step 5 - Apply for income drawdown

When you're ready to start taking money from your pension, you can apply for income drawdown. This usually takes 2 weeks, but if you do not have money in cash you will need to sell investments first which can delay the process.

Before you apply

We can give you facts but not a personal recommendation

While we can give you all the facts about our products and services, we can’t give you personalised financial advice and nothing on our website is a personal recommendation.

If you’re looking for a personal recommendation or you’re not sure whether a product or service is right for you, you should ask a financial adviser who may charge for their service.

If you would like more information, please visit our financial advice web page.

Fair Processing Notice
By continuing with this application you confirm that you have read our Fair Processing Notice, which explains how we share your data and what your rights are in relation to the personal information we use to process your application.

Impartial advice from the government

Pension Wise has been set up by the government and offers free and impartial guidance for people retiring with defined contribution pensions. It will help you understand what your choices are and how they work.

You'll be able to get help on the Pension Wise website, over the phone or face to face.

If you are approaching retirement we recommend you get guidance or advice to help you understand your options.

Looking to transfer into an Aviva Pension?

View investment options

Want to know more about pensions?

See our guide

Product provided by: Aviva Pension Trustees UK Limited. Registered in England No. 2407799. Aviva, Wellington Row, York, YO90 1WR. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 465132.

Aviva UK Digital Limited introduces to Aviva Pension Trustees UK Limited for pensions. Aviva UK Digital Limited is registered in England No. 09766150. Registered office: St Helen's, 1 Undershaft, London EC3P 3DQ. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number: 728985.

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