What if I transfer my civil service pension?

06 July 2021

Question by Hannah

Hello there, I’m 41 years old and have recently become a full time freelancer. I want to continue to pay into a pension and am looking at signing up to PensionBee. I’ve got about five different pension pots floating around, which I know either I or they can track down. My main concern is this - I’m always being told that my Civil Service pension is a great thing to have (I was a teacher for a year and then had a different Civil Service pension for about two years) and so will I lose out by transferring it to a new place? By the way, I am loving Boring Money! I’m really keen to start taking control of my finances and it’s proving so helpful... not making me feel like a clown for not understanding all the financial faffery! Thanks!

Answered by Boring Money

Hi Hannah,

Great question and I am happy to give you some guidance and help, but without knowing more about you it’s difficult to personalise this.

Safe and secure

Your Civil Service pension is a ‘promised income’ at retirement, based on your salary and years of service with the employer, instead of being a pot with a fund value - unless you transfer it.

These types of pensions are seen as safe, secure pensions without any risk. To buy the same benefits elsewhere in retirement will almost always require a bigger pot than what the transfer value will offer you when you transfer.

So in answer to your question, you are likely to lose out on what is considered valuable benefits if you transferred.


In some instances it can make sense for some people to transfer these types of pensions. If you are only doing this to consolidate your pensions, I would not normally consider this as a good reason to transfer a secure pension, particularly when you are not close to retirement age.

The civil service statement will normally quote you an annual income that you have built up by the time you leave, and this will usually go up by inflation between now and when you retire.

You can’t access the pension before retirement, so is it worth thinking about whether you need to make any decisions on this pension now?

I hope this helps,


Answered by

Boring Money