Updated: Aug 24
Throughout your career, you are more than likely to have several different jobs. In fact, according to the Department for Work and Pensions, the average is 11!
With different jobs come different employers. Since 2012 your employer has been legally obliged to auto-enrol you into a pension scheme. You have to opt-out, rather that opting-in as was the previous requirement. The only requirements are that you work in the UK, aren’t already in a suitable scheme, are at least 22 but under the state pension age and earn more than £10,000 per annum.
Life can often feel like a juggling act with so many things to think of and keep on top of, and pensions are no different. They can be difficult to keep track of and keep on top of, especially if you have lost your pension information.
In this article, Reeves Independent will explain how you can find your lost pension pots and what you can then do with them once you’ve found them.
Why find them?
Simply put, the more money you have in your pot, the better.
Of course, you can exceed the pension limit, but this is unlikely as the limit is very high. However, if you have pensions that you don’t know about, it could tip you over, and thus you could incur hefty tax penalties. So, tracking them down and keeping them under control will mean you don’t end up with a large tax bill.
Furthermore, if a pension remains unclaimed for over six years after your retirement date, you may no longer be entitled to it. That could be thousands of pounds of your money, just evaporated into thin air. Claim what is yours before it’s too late.
How to find a pension pot
So, we know it’s beneficial to find them, but just how exactly do you do it?
Well, there are a four primary paths.
If you know who the provider is, contact them and they should not only be able to locate your pension, but also give you a clear-cut summary of its state and value.
If it is a workplace pension that you are hunting down, then you will need to contact the employer who provided it for you. If it was a private scheme, then your former employer should be able to give you their contact details.
There is also the government’s pension tracing service, if you are still having issues tracking them down. You can, for free, search a database of over 200,000 pension schemes to find contact details for you.
Furthermore, there is also a free service called The Pension Tracing Service, ran by a firm of independent financial advisers called Better Retirement Group.
Lastly, a financial adviser can also help you trace lost pensions, as they will be able to approach the relevant bodies and organisations for you.
You’ll need some information before you start looking for your lost pension pots:
Your pension plan number (if you have it)
Your date of birth
Your National Insurance number
The date on which the pension plan was set up
If you are looking for a workplace pension, then you will also need:
The name of your employer
The date you started working for the employer
The date you stopped working for the employer
The dates on which you joined and left your workplace pension scheme
Now that you have traced your lost pensions, it could be wise to combine them and then invest it to maximise your income for retirement.
There are many options available. It is paramount that you speak to an authorised independent financial adviser so that you can get the best advice on what to do with your money.
It is critical that you make the right decisions as it will have a serious impact on your retirement goals.
You have worked hard to contribute towards your pension pots throughout your working life. Don’t allow yourself to lose money that can really aid your income in retirement.
At Reeves Independent, we understand that it can be time sensitive, confusing, and maybe even frustrating, especially if you have already retired. By finding your lost pots, you can go a long way towards achieving your retirement goals.
We are here for you. If you are struggling to find your lost pots, or just want some advice on what to do with them, then come and have a chat with Reeves Independent.
This article is for information only and should not be seen as advice or a recommendation to take action. Investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the original capital invested.
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