Keys to pension plan transfer or mobilization

Find out everything you need to know about mobilizing the vested benefits of your pension plan.

Taking out savings and retirement pension products is an increasingly necessary option for many savers. However, when investing in savings products, many have doubts about how they work. This is especially true when considering the liquidity of the product if they need to access the money for any reason before retirement.

Pension plans are an investment vehicle whose liquidity is purposely restricted to certain situations: try to ensure that they fulfill their pension savings function. However, you can access the savings in certain circumstances, such as long-term unemployment, serious illness, or incapacity to work. However, starting on January 1, 2025, it will be possible to redeem contributions paid at least ten years ago.

Pension plans are also transferable. Not only between them, but also towards/from other equivalent retirement products, such as guaranteed pension plans (PPA).

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What does a transfer between pension plans involve?

A transfer between pension plans is a mechanism that allows the holders of a pension plan to move the capital from one plan to another. This is also called mobilization of vested benefits and consists of transferring the balance on a given date to another pension plan. In other words, it's like "jumping" from one plan to another without any major implications and without any tax repercussions. When transferring between pension plans, the vested benefits of a pension plan can be transferred to another plan with different conditions, to another manager's plan, or even to a guaranteed pension plan.

The mobilization of vested benefits is provided for by the Regulations on Pension Funds and Plans and may be total or partial. This is an option available to any participant.

The advantages of transferring a pension plan

Pension plans share an important characteristic with investment funds. This not only concerns the type of transfer, but also whether or not the transfer has any tax implication. This allows the participant to carry out relatively active management and not be discouraged from moving their positions at the time when the market situation or their change of risk profile recommends it.

What's more, there is no specific transfer fee, although it must be taken into account that, in some cases, the home management company may charge a redemption fee and the destination management company may charge a subscription fee, although this is quite rare.

How do I transfer my pension plans?

When transferring a pension plan, the first thing to do is notify the recipient managing entity, who is responsible for initiating the process. In addition, the amount of capital that you want to transfer or mobilize needs to be reported, as it is possible to carry out a total or partial transfer. A maximum period of 2 business days is established for the destination entity to request the transfer from the source entity.

Once this step is carried out, the destination management company takes care of the rest of the process, which has to be completed, by Law, within a maximum of 5 business days if the transfer is made between different management companies, or within a maximum of 3 business days if the transfer is made between different pension plans or products within the same management company, provided that they are individual pension plan schemes.

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Why should you transfer a pension plan?

Many pension plan participants are satisfied with their plan and see no reason to make a transfer; however, there are three fundamental reasons that press certain savers to mobilize the vested benefits of their plan:

  • Diversification: transferring allows you to mobilize a part of your savings, meaning you can distribute your funds between different plans to diversify the risk.
  • Dissatisfaction with the conditions of the current plan: in some cases, savers are not completely satisfied with the performance of their pension plan, and the transfer allows them to withdraw their savings without having to wait for retirement or some other special circumstance gives cause to redeeming funds.
  • Change of investor profile: a person's savings profile can vary as a result of changes in their personal circumstances over time. Transferring a pension plan allows you to adapt to new circumstances and take on different levels of risk.

In short, transferring or mobilizing a pension plan is one of the options that many savers choose, whether to improve the conditions of their plan, reduce risk, or for any other reason. At BBVA we offer a wide variety of pension plans that adapt to the circumstances of all types of customers. Moreover, you receive a bonus of 3% if you transfer your pension plan from another institution. Go to bbva.es or visit any of our branches for more information on our pension plans.

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