Think you may have lost pensions? Here’s how you can find your missing pots

When life becomes busy, it can be a struggle finding the time to keep your finances in order. And, if you’ve changed jobs or moved home, it’s easy to lose or misplace paperwork.

If you’ve lost track of old pensions, you could be missing out on a great opportunity for tax-efficient saving.

With National Pension Tracing Day falling on 29 October, it’s the perfect time to recover lost pensions and make sure that your retirement plans are on track.

1 in 4 people have lost track of at least one pension

According to research published by the Mercia Group, 1 in 4 people have lost a pension.

If you’ve changed jobs multiple times or moved house, you’re at a greater risk of having a lost pension.

For example, you may have a forgotten pension if you opted out of the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS), which ran from 1978 to 2002. SERPS was designed to top up the State Pension, but many people contracted out of the scheme and instead put their National Insurance contributions into a personal pension.

It’s worth checking if you’re missing a pension as these savings could make a big difference to your retirement income.

Lost pension pots in the UK are worth around £37 billion

Recent figures published in the Telegraph suggest that there’s an estimated £37 billion in lost pensions, with the average fund worth around £23,000. While this figure might not seem significant in comparison to the rest of your wealth, it’s worth noting that your savings could dwindle further if left unchecked.

Older pensions typically incur higher fees than more recent ones, which could erode the value of your fund. If your account has been ignored for a long time, it’s also possible that your pension fund isn’t performing to its full potential.

Tracking down your pension and assessing whether it offers you decent value could help you to make the most of your savings.

How to track down lost pensions

If you’ve lost the paperwork and account details of old pensions, there are several ways you can track them down.

The information you’re most likely to need includes:

  • Your full name and details of any name changes
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your current and previous addresses
  • Employment dates (for tracking down workplace pensions).

Armed with this information, there are several ways to find a missing pension.

Contact pension providers

If you’ve moved between jobs several times, you might struggle to remember the details of the pensions you had with previous employers.

Most providers send out annual benefits statements. Look through your files and gather any documents or emails that you can find relating to your old pensions.

Having information such as customer reference numbers and policy start dates to hand will probably make it easier to track down lost pensions.

Once you have a list of previous pension providers, contact them directly to recover your old pensions.

Contact previous employers

If you’re struggling to recall the names of previous pension providers, dig out your CV or make a list of your former employers.

Next, contact each former employer and request details of the pension scheme you paid into during your employment.

You’ll probably be directed to the HR department and it’s a good idea to have the information listed earlier to hand.

Use the government Pension Tracing Service

It’s possible that neither of the above are viable options. That may be because you have no record of previous pensions, or you are unable to contact a former employer because they have gone out of business, for example.

If this is the case for you, the government provides a free online Pension Tracing Service that might help you locate missing pensions.

You’ll need to provide a few pieces of basic information to access contact details for your previous pension providers.

Get in touch

If you’d like support in organising your pensions and planning for retirement, please do get in touch with us at Rosebridge.

Email or call 01204 300010 to speak to us today.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts.


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