The traditional ‘job for life’ is a thing of the past, as the average Brit now works for at least 11 different companies. This makes keeping track of your past pensions a little challenging. As a result, there is more than £400million in unclaimed pension savings in the UK. Could some of this be yours?
In reality, your pension isn’t going to come looking for you, so the sooner you trace a lost account, the better. Here’s how:
Use the government’s Pensions Tracing Service
You should be receiving annual statements for any pension schemes you’re a member of. But if you don’t have any statements to hand, you don’t want to contact your old employer, or it’s a personal pension you’re trying to track down, try using the Pensions Tracing Service – a free tool provided by the government. Simply enter your former employers’ details into the online database and you will be provided with contact details for pension schemes you may have paid into. This service will not tell you whether you have a pension or what the value is, but it will generate contact details even if the company has moved or rebranded.
Be wary of other unofficial pension tracing services, as these can pop up when using a search engine and they might try to charge you for their services. For the official government service please click here.
The Pensions Dashboard
You will have to wait until next year for the Pensions Dashboard to be released. Once launched, it will allow you to view of all your pensions together in one place, including the State Pension. The dashboard will show you what you’ve saved so far as well as an estimate of what your savings might be worth in the future. It will be safe and secure to use and will keep your personal information private.
What to do once you have located your lost pensions
If you’ve successfully tracked down the old pension pots that you have accumulated over the years, there is the option of transferring everything into one easy-to-manage pension. However, you need to check if you will be charged fees to transfer one pot to another or if you lose any special features, such as a guaranteed annuity rate. With both pros and cons to consider, it is important to speak to a financial adviser to ensure you make the most of your hard-earned pension savings.
To organise a free pension review, call Calculis on 01794 525500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.