How to find a lost pension
Keeping track of your pension pots
These days, most of us change jobs quite often. And moving from employer to employer sometimes means moving from pension scheme to pension scheme – which can make it tricky to keep track of your different pension pots.
Lost pension? Don’t let it lie
If you think you’ve had a pension in the past, but can’t remember the details, don’t worry. It’s a common problem and even has its own name; ‘pension loss’. The good news is, there are a few different ways to track down those old pension plans.
How do I find my pension?
Wondering how to find your missing pension? It can be as simple as making sure any old pension providers have a current address for you so they can keep you informed.
- The first step is to go through all those dusty piles of paperwork you’ve moved from house to house (we all do it!) to see if you can find details of any old pension schemes. Then, simply write to the company providing the pension, tell them your new address, and ask how your money is doing. If you need some help, here’s a great template letter you can use.
- If you’re trying to track down a workplace pension, you could try contacting the company you used to work for. They may be able to point you in the right direction.
- If you’re still drawing a blank – say your old employer doesn’t exist anymore, or you’re trying to track down an old personal pension and you don’t have any information – don’t give up. The Government offers a free pension tracing service to help you track down any missing pension pots.
I’ve tracked down my old pensions – what next?
If you find you’ve got more than one pension, why not consolidate them? That simply means bringing all your separate pension pots together, into one plan. So instead of a number of different pots of cash in different schemes, all your savings are in one place.
Why? Well, it makes it easier to keep track of your savings, so you know exactly where you stand. And because each individual pension plan has its own set of charges, it could also save you money.
That said, it’s important to read the terms and conditions of each plan before you decide to bring your pots together. There could be penalties – for example, some pension providers charge a fee if you move your cash and you may have some valuable features that you would lose if you transfer. As always, do what’s right for you, and if you need some advice about consolidation, talk to an Independent Financial Adviser or our team of experts.
Pension loss – a billion pound issue
In the UK alone, it’s estimated there is around £3 billion pounds sitting in unclaimed pensions. Don’t let it happen to you. The next time you tackle the filing, gather your pension information together and put it somewhere safe. If you think you have any lost pensions, it’s worth the effort to track them down. And once you know where you stand, have a think about how best to make your hard-earned cash work for you in the future. What are you waiting for?