How to Trace a Lost Pension

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As you go through life, you’re likely to have many different jobs – and each may come with a new pension. You may also have paid into private pension schemes.

It’s so easy to end up with multiple pension pots with different providers and to lose track of what savings you have and where. In fact, the government estimates there’s around £400 million sitting in unclaimed pension schemes. Therefore, it’s important that you know how to trace a lost pension.

Using the Pension Tracing Service

To help make it easier for people to track down lost pensions, the Department for Work & Pensions launched a Pension Tracing Service back in 2016. All you need to do is enter the details of all past employers and an online database will provide contact details of pension schemes you might have paid into.

The service is free to use and although it does require a little detective work to contact pension providers, it offers a great starting point.

Time-saving Options for Tracing Lost Pensions

On average, UK workers have had around 11 jobs by the time they reach retirement. For some people, this number can be higher. While the Pension Tracing Service allows you to find details of pension schemes for previous jobs, it doesn’t tell you whether or not you actually have a pension with any – or how much is in the pot. You’ll have to contact each provider individually to try to track down a lost pension.

But there is an easier way. Independent financial advisers such as Vision can provide their own pension tracing services. This can be a real time-saver, as they can do all the legwork for you. You’ll simply need to provide details of previous employment, and your dedicated team of IFAs will get to work and you will have a full list of lost pension pots.

For many people, this can be an extremely pleasant surprise. Wouldn’t it be lovely to know that you had potentially thousands of pounds extra for your pension pot? This was the case for one user of the Pension Tracing Service, who told the DWP:

“There was one employer who I worked for about 30 years ago and I knew I had a pension with them of some sort. But as it was so long ago, I had just lost track of it.

I used the Pension Tracing Service in early 2016 and within two weeks I managed to trace a £10,000 pension with Aviva.”

Consolidating Multiple Pensions

Once you’ve tracked down all of your pensions, it is possible to simplify them by bringing them all together into one, if this is in your best interest.  It can be difficult to manage multiple schemes, all with different terms and conditions. It’s also likely that you could lose track again.

By bringing all your pension savings together into just one scheme that supports your overall post-work goals, retirement planning becomes much easier. Your pension will be more manageable and will also likely offer more valuable benefits than all of those old pension schemes you’d forgotten about.

We would like to stress the importance of taking independent advice when consolidating pensions so that you don’t lose out on any benefits or guaranteed rates. Your financial adviser will ensure your pension contract will make your retirement plans possible.

Vision Independent Financial Advisors can trace your pensions for you

If you are still unsure how to trace a lost pension, please contact the retirement planning experts here at Vision IFAs to find out how we could help streamline and simplify your pensions. Call us on 0345 224 3175 or email, and we’ll get right back to you.

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