Lost pensions? How to find yours

Research from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has highlighted that there are billions of pounds lying in dormant pension plans as people lose track of their pensions throughout their careers.

The ABI estimates that more than 1.6 million pension plans with a worth of around £19.4 billion are currently lost or unclaimed – that’s an average of £13,000 per plan!

The average UK employee may change jobs every five years and for some it could be more often. You would think that after all the hard work of saving into a plan over many years you wouldn’t forget about a pension when you change jobs or come to retire. Unfortunately, it is easier to do than you think and it happens frequently. The impact of Coronavirus on the jobs market is likely to result in even more ‘lost’ pensions.

How to find old pension plans

If you think you may have a dormant pension plan, the good news is that it’s fairly straightforward to track them down.

With your National Insurance Number, the names and addresses of your previous employers and the use of the Government’s Pension Tracing Service you should be able to find out everything your need to know.

Keeping track of your pension plans

Many workers do not know how much money they have in their pension plans. Research shows 51% don’t know the name of the company which provides their workplace plan.

It is usually very easy to get hold of your pension details from your current employer and generally you can keep track of your pension account online.  That way you can keep tabs on how much you’ve saved and begin to think about how much you might need to save for the future.

Getting everything into shape

Having found old pension plans, you might be tempted to move older pension plans into your current workplace pension scheme. Whilst this might be the right decision for some, it is important to consider that some older workplace pensions may have valuable benefits which could potentially be lost upon transfer.

Tracking down any old pensions, consolidating them into one plan (if that benefits you) and keeping a regular eye on where you are with your retirement savings could help give you peace of mind about your financial future.

At MHA Carpenter Box Financial Advisers we have helped a number of clients locate their old pension plans. In certain situations, the values of those lost pension pots has been significant and has led to an entirely different retirement outcome for the client.

If you would like help understanding your pension plans and assessing old plans, please contact our team on 01903 534587.

The value of your investments can go down as well as up, so you could get back less than you invested