You might think a windfall that could be worth several thousand pounds would be difficult for most to forget. But with more of us moving jobs, more often, one in four workers has now misplaced or forgotten about at least one pension pot, according to a report by Age UK.
The charity’s research found “job hopping” employees mean that while the average pensioner has worked for five or six companies during their working life, a quarter of 25 to 34-year-olds have already worked for the same number of employers. So when it comes to retirement, many policies have been forgotten or the paperwork has been lost.
Already 37 per cent of UK adults have lost track of at least one pension, Age UK says, amounting to about £3 billion worth of funds. But the good news is that “lost” pensions aren’t difficult to track down. We’ve been looking at how it’s done.
The first step is to contact the Government’s Pension Tracing Service. It’s easiest to do it online, where you can fill in a form at gov.uk/find-lost-pension and then have free help in tracking down retirement funds. But you can also get in touch with the tracing service by phone (0845 6002 537), textphone (0845 3000 169) or post (Pension Tracing Service, The Pension Service, Tyneview Park, Whitley Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE98 1BA). Tell the service all the info you have to hand, but the more details you have, the greater their chance of success in tracking down savings.
It will help to know the full name and contact details of the employer who ran any occupational pension schemes, and up to date details on the employer’s company details (if, for example, they are now part of a larger group of companies or had a re-branding).
If the Pension Tracing Service can find your pension, it will then give you the address of your scheme provider, and it’s up to you to contact them to organise access to the cash or just details of the money. There are also alternative services operated by ‘pension bounty seekers’ but these will charge you a fee.