It is now common for people to have many employments throughout their careers and it is not unusual for them to have numerous pension arrangements. The most frequently asked question of financial brokers is, “should I move all pensions into one pension pot?”

Sometimes, it can make real financial sense to bring together your various pension policies into one pot. This way you will have a better idea of how much money you’ve invested and how to plan effectively for the future you want. It’s possible that the charges you pay on a single consolidated policy will be lower than the charges you would pay for several small ones. Merging your policies means that you know where everything is and that can make it easier for you to keep a closer eye on how your pension is performing, allowing you to make changes to your investment strategy, if you need to.

However, it is not always possible to transfer pension benefits into one pot. Currently, employees could have pension benefits from a Defined Benefit or Defined Contribution pension scheme of a former employer. They could also have a personal pension, a Personal Retirement Savings Account [PRSA] or a Buyout Bond. It is not possible to transfer all these pension benefits to just one policy because of the different rules about how each product provides pension benefits at retirement.

Pensions are complex and if considering consolidating your pensions, contact a financial broker who specialises in pensions who will assess all of the issues, explain them clearly and give you appropriate advice and guidance.

The first thing your financial broker will consider is not the advantages outlined above but rather, what are the downsides of consolidating? Where it is possible to consolidate pensions is it right for you?  Are there benefits you will be giving up such as guaranteed growth rates or a guaranteed pension at retirement age? The charges you currently pay may be lower than what is currently available and you may be in a suitable investment fund that is closed to new contributions.