Local independent financial adviser, Becky Hammonds of Willow Financial Solutions, looks at how you can track down old pensions and why it is important to do so.
With £19.4 billion in contributions waiting to be claimed in the UK, it is apparent that many people have walked away from old pensions and in effect lost thousands of pounds in doing so.
The introduction of auto-enrolment, in which eligible employees are automatically enrolled into a company’s scheme, means many more people are now likely to end up having multiple pension pots. In fact, many of us don’t even know how to find out if we still have a pension from an old job.
Tracing pensions from years ago can be a hassle but the good news is that you can find lost pensions and combine them into a single modern plan.
The likelihood of losing track of your pensions is increased if you have:
- Opted out of SERPS (the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme) in 1980s or 1990s
- Changed jobs multiple times
- Moved house often and not updated your pension provider. I mean who does notify their provider?
It’s estimated that there are about 1.6 million missing pension pots worth £19.4 billion, which averages at around £13,000 per missing pension, so it’s certainly worth investigating.
So, how do you find out if you have a pension from an old job?
If you think you might have had a pension with a previous employer and have lost track of it, get in touch with them. If you no longer have any contact details for them, the Government’s free pension tracing service may be able to help you find them.
Once you have the contact details, you will need to give them the dates when you were employed by them and your NI number and ask if they could check their records to pass on the name of your pension provider and policy number.
Financial advisers can access records and may also be able to assist in these matters by identifying the lost pensions and then combining them into an appropriate plan.
For pensions and investment advice contact Becky Hammonds on 07969 269677 or email Becky@willowfs.co.uk