Should I wait before combining pension pots?

Hoping someone can help explain something to me…

I have two pensions from previous employers and I’d like to combine them into two pots. They’ve each lost roughly 10% since the markets tumbled because of COVID-19.

Am I right in thinking it makes sense to hold off combining until their value has gone back up again?

Pensions have always confused me more than other types of investment - but I’m approaching this as each of my monthly contributions has bought me a slice of a pension fund, so if I combine them now, the one I combine from will buy fewer slices of the one I’m combining into…whereas if I wait then I’ll get more of the one combine into without having to put any more money in?

Or is that wrong?

Thank you to anyone who can do a bit of explaining!

Hi. I think you’re conflating two things that don’t need to related. The first one, whether it’s sensible to combine pension pots is a question by itself. I combined mine (I had a few) last year and value the ability to see them in one place (I use PensionBee and have found them good). Separately, when is a good time to do this? Well, now’s as good a time as ever, there’s no saying when your pots will recover. You’ll be moving your money into a pot of your choice that has as much chance of regaining losses as the ones you are coming from.

I benefit from combining my pots as the management fee on the bigger pot is better than I was getting on my smaller pots. The visibility is worth a lot.

Finally, take care moving pensions around, depending on the type of pension you might lose out.


There are a number of different companies who provide SIPPs.
Just look into fees as this will be the biggest concern they can make £1k’s difference over life of pension depending on size of the pot.

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Last year I combined the 2 pensions I knew about (still awaiting the “pension dashboard ro see if I have any others) to pensionbee which was good with the app and easy to setup the fund used.

As of February / March I transferred my pension to Vanguards SIPP, and the Global All Capp Fund, during COVID 19 I have had about. £1000 loss at random times but seem to for the last week at least on a gain from £200 - £800 for the same time period.

Personally and I am as good with money as a sieve at holding water :wink:, taken some advise from others re investments (I will not hold them accountable fo any losses) Vanguard was a good choice, I already transferred the kids JISA there the previous year, it took until Jan / Feb thus year for them to release their SIPP as soon as it launched I dropped Pensionbee as the fees are a lot higher than Vanguard.

When you combine you will crystallise your current losses. You should also check they are no inherent benefits with the current policies (widows benefit/DIS etc, etc).

Personally I’d sit on my hands.