Sunday is National Pension Tracing day which aims to make people aware of any pensions they might have forgotten about.
According to research by the Pension Policy Institute (PPI)*it’s estimated that there are 2.8 million unclaimed pensions in the UK, worth a total of £26.6 billion, That’s nearly £10,000 per pension – so it’s worth taking the time to track down any lost pensions.
In the current cost of living crisis, saving for your future may be the last thing on your mind, but taking the time to trace any lost pensions could improve your retirement.
So why not join National Pension Tracing Day for the great pension treasure hunt on Sunday 29 October. With the clocks going back, you’ve got an extra hour to look for any lost pensions.
Here’s 4 things you can do to start the process:-
1. Get the details of your old pensions
Take a look at your CV. For every job you’ve had you might have had a workplace pension, and some pensions can be tracked down just by knowing the name of the company you worked for.
Check your files to see if you’ve got any pension statements from your previous providers. They’ll give you the details of any old plans. The more information you have about your previous plans, the better.
Even if you have a certificate from a previous employer, it doesn’t always mean that you have a pension entitlement. For example, you may have had a refund of your contributions when you left that employer.
Many older workplace pensions may have also needed you to be a member for a certain number of years, before you were entitled to a pension.
2. Contact your old pension provider
Once you know which provider your old pension was with, the first step is to contact them. When you get in touch, you should give them as much information as possible to help them reunite you with your pension savings. This includes:
Your plan number, if you’ve been able to find it on your old paperwork
Your date of birth
Your National Insurance number.
3. Fill in any gaps by using the Pension Tracing Service
If you think you have a missing pension, but you can’t find any information about it at all, you can try the government’s free Pension Tracing Service. You can visit their gov.uk website or give them a ring on 0345 600 2537.
You should try to collect as much information as you can about the pension you’ve lost before using the Pension Tracing Service. Ideally, this should include:
For a workplace pension:
Name of the employer
Type of business
Your last address
When you worked for the employer
For a personal pension:
Name of the pension
Your last address
The name of any bank, insurance company or building society associated with your personal pension
The Pension Tracing Service can then use this information to search through their database of over 300,000 pensions and may be able to give you the contact details for a workplace pension or personal pension you’ve lost touch with. This includes details of the new company or provider name if your old pension has been taken over or changed its name over the years.
The Pension Tracing Service will only tell you the contact details of the pension’s administrator. You’ll then need to contact the pension administrator to find out whether you have a pension, what value it is and to ask for it to be paid out.
Ask us for help.
Once you have the above details, Ben and I can then send you a letter of authority to sign which will allow us to contact your pension provider to assess the merits of your existing scheme. We can analyse the performance, the charges, the risk the pension is taking and the accessibility options that it holds. We will then be able to add the pension to your financial plan to see how it affects your lifetime cashflow and assess whether the pension is best suited to your needs.
Hope this helps?