This means you could have many small pension pots lying unclaimed when you come to retire.
Thankfully, you can now get help to trace your lost pensions, and most importantly, access your pension savings.
Finding your lost pensions; a quick start guide
Your missing pension could be worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds – so it’s worth tracking down straightaway. Follow these three simple steps to get started with tracking down your pension savings.
- Look out any information you have on your pensions including statements, confirmation letters, or correspondence.
- Cross reference this with your employment history to find any holes.
- Contact your previous employers to get details of the pension scheme you may have been contributing to at the time of your employment – this may have changed since you left.
Helping to keep track of your pensions when changing jobs
When you leave a job you may never hear from the pension scheme, so it’s easy to forget about your money as the years go by. To make sure this doesn’t happen, ask for an annual statement. If you are able to, call up the HR department of the company you worked for and ask for the pensions administrator – this may be an external company.
The pensions administrator can then look up your details and arrange for a statement to be sent to you. This should also include a projection of your benefits. If the pensions provider has changed, the HR department should inform you and give you the number of the old pension provider.
If you change address, notify the pension scheme provider – quite often, people lose track of a pension because the provider doesn’t know how to contact them.
Struggling to track down a pension?
If a company you used to work for no longer exists, or if it has been taken over, you might not know whether you have money in missing pensions or not. If you were automatically enrolled, you may not have even been aware that you were paying into a pension.
First, make a list of all your jobs and find as much paperwork as you can – not just pensions, but pay slips that may show pension deductions and contractual information as well. Most pension schemes send a statement each year.
MoneyHelper provides free and impartial advice on pensions, and has a pension tracking letter template to help you get started.
If you’re still struggling to make progress in finding a lost pension, get in touch with the Pension Tracing Service on 0800 731 0193 or go to the Gov.uk Find pension contact details page to find pension contact details.
When you do track a pension pot down you will have several options to move or consolidate it. We recommend you seek expert pension advice first – especially if the sums involved will represent an important part of your retirement income. Read our guide on pension transfers and pension consolidation article to help you find out more.