If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times; pensions are important investments, not to be ignored. The best way to get the most out of them is to check in with them regularly. Think of them as a garden to be nurtured; it’s worth doing some tending here and there to ensure it grows in the right way.
We know with auto-enrolment that many people’s contributions are made automatically and not much else in the way of thought or organising may go into it for the employee. However, over your lifetime you’ll possibly move home or job more than once, if not several times. When you move roles to a new company it’s likely that it will have a different pension provider. So, what then happens to your previous pension?
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has estimated that over 1.6 million pension plans are currently unclaimed totalling £19.4 billion. It’s also been reported that the average UK employee changes jobs five times, or up to 12 times if you’re part of the millennial generation. Many people may simply start a new role with a new company and may forget all about their previous pension plan.
As well as this, only one in 25 people will think to inform their pension provider of their new address when they move home, making it difficult for providers get in contact with customers when retirement draws close.
Why do I need to track down my pension?
It’s important to keep any pension providers updated with your current address and contact details so that when you come to retire, you’re able to claim you pension. There may be instances where people aren’t even aware that they contributed to a pension in the past, and therefore may be missing out on claiming their money.
How to find your old pension
If you think you could be guilty of pension pot neglect, never fear; you should be able to track down your lost plan. If you remember the name of the pension provider from your previous role or roles, you can get in touch with them directly.
If you don’t remember the name of the pension provider, you can use the Government’s Pension Tracing Service to track down details of a lost pension. You’ll need to know the name of your previous employer, or employers if tracking down more than one. This service with give you the contact details of the pension provider which you can then use to get in touch with them.
What to do next
Once you’ve located any old pension pots, it’s important to make sure that you update the providers with your current contact details. It’s then up to you whether you want to consolidate these. You can have a read of our handy guide to see what the pros and cons may be. Before making any decisions, it might be a good idea to have a chat with your Financial Adviser, who will be able to discuss your options with you.