Updated: November 20, 2019

SERPs Pension Transfers

Is your SERPs pension transferrable? Read on to find out whether this is possible or not.

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Richard Angliss

Author: Richard Angliss - Finance Expert

Updated: November 20, 2019

If like many, you’re wondering whether or not you can transfer a SERPs pension, you’ve come to the right place, as the pensions advisors we work with are experts when it comes to pension transfers.

In fact, we’ve helped lots of soon to be retirees learn more about their SERPs pension and what it means for them if they have opted out of the scheme.

We’ve included the information you need to know about SERPs pension transfers as well as where you can turn to for advice.

If you would like to talk to a professional about SERPs pensions transfers, call 0808 189 0463. Alternatively, make an enquiry and one of the pensions specialists we work with will be in touch shortly.

Can I transfer my SERPS pension?

It was once possible to opt-out of a SERPs pension scheme, however the scheme ended in 2002. If you have reached the State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, you’ll get the new State Pension.

Previously, if your employer had a workplace pension scheme, you could have contracted out of your state pension and transferred your funds over.

Unfortunately, since 2016, this type of pension cannot be transferred.

What is a SERPs pension?

A SERPS pension is an additional pension, paid in as a top-up to the basic state pension.

  • You would only be eligible for SERPs if you were an employee who made Class 1 National Insurance Contributions between 1978 and 2002
  • In April 2002, SERPS was replaced by the State Second Pension
  • If you paid into the SERPs scheme, you will receive your payments when you reach retirement age
  • If you are entitled to SERPs and retired before April 2016, you should have received both the basic and the additional state pension.

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Where could a SERPS pension be transferred?

Since 1988, many people have opted out their SERPs pension, often in a bid to raise more money for their retirement.

Any money that they had accumulated in their SERPs fund could be transferred to a:

If you decided to opt out of your SERPs pension and begin saving for your retirement with another scheme, any money you initially saved in SERPs would have been transferred to your new pot.

If you have concerns about your pension and want to know more about how opting out of SERPs could have affected your overall fund, make an enquiry and we’ll introduce you to an advisor.

Can I transfer my SERPs pensions to my spouse if I die?

If you have paid into the SERPs scheme and pass away, your surviving spouse or civil partner will be entitled to claim.

The amount of money that your partner will receive will depend on which year you reached the state pension age, as well as the year you died.

For example, a widower would be entitled to up to 100% of their partner’s SERPs if they had passed away before 6th October 2002.

However, if their partner had died after this date, the maximum amount they could inherit would be based on the partner’s date of birth.

The rules regarding how much a spouse is entitled to claim can be confusing. If you would like to calculate how much SERPs your spouse could be entitled to in the event of your death, you can arrange a chat with one of the expert advisors we work with.

Should I transfer my SERPs pension?

Unfortunately, transferring a SERPs pension is no longer possible. If you never opted out of the scheme, it will now be paid to you (once you reach retirement age) as part of your state pension.

If you have previously opted out of the scheme, you may have accumulated more interest or benefits through your current pension provider.

However, this is not always the case and unfortunately, some people who transferred their SERPs pension in the past, may have made a larger financial gain if they had stayed.

This is because if you transfer your pension to a private scheme, the value of your investment can go down as well as up, meaning that there is a chance that you may lose money.

This is why some pension members decide that this risk is too high, especially if they are near retirement age.

If you are concerned that you may have been misled into transferring your SERPs pension into another scheme and that the information you received wasn’t clear or accurate, speak to one of the pensions advisors we work with about your next steps, they can offer the right advice for your circumstances.

Talk to a pensions expert

Your pensions directly affect your retirement income, so it’s important to understand the effects of transferring your civil service pension.

If you need more information or would like to talk to a professional about SERPs pension transfers please call 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry online.

One of the pension specialists we work with will be happy to help with whatever questions you have and our advice is always confidential.


Can I transfer my pension back into SERPs?

No, this isn’t possible. You cannot transfer a personal pension fund back into SERPS because the scheme ended in April 2002. It was replaced by the Second State Pension.

How can I check if I was contracted out of my SERPS pension?

You can find out if you were contracted out by:

If you know longer have your pension provider’s contact details, the Pension Tracing Service might be able to find them for you.

Alternatively, for help and advice about your SERPs pension, please contact one of the pensions experts we work with.

Ask a quick question

We can help! We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with brokers who are experts in pensions. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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Richard Angliss

Richard Angliss

Finance Expert

About the author

Richard Angliss has made a career in financial services which stretches over 40 years.

His early career was spent learning about the various financial products and applying them to prudent advice, working for one of the largest life assurance and investment firms. After that he joined the financial services arm of a very well-known firm providing independent advice to their 8 million customers.

For the last 20 years he has been involved in building software solutions that help Advisers and clients work together to achieve good financial outcomes and helping to set up three independent advisory firms. He also has written many articles for financial services publications and provided commentary for newspaper journalists.

At an early stage in his career he realised the great satisfaction that comes with being able to help people achieve their goals and protect their families. “Regulation of financial services has hugely impacted on ensuring people get appropriate advice. The issue these days is access to that advice and just as importantly regular reviews to make sure that everything stays on track”.

With the growing development of online resources such as Online Money Advisor he sees a great future for people to access advice to make their pension and investment work harder for them.  Plus, of course, to ensure they have insurance products in place that will be required when unforeseen events happen.

He knows getting that balance right is crucial to prudent financial planning and the wellbeing of individuals and their families.

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