Finding lost pensions: Help your employees find their forgotten savings
Putting aside a little time to track down old pensions could be an investment that's well worth making.
Losing track of old pensions is something that can happen as we hop between jobs, move house or take a career break. It’s easily done. Research from the Pensions Policy Institute, Footnote 1 found that people in the UK have lost track of as many as 2.8 million pension pots. And with each one worth an average of £9470 per pot, it could make a difference to the retirement that your employees want.
Help your employees find their lost pensions
People may think there’s no rush to find their old pensions, particularly if retirement is a while away. But the sooner they look into it, the better. That money hasn’t disappeared, and it needn’t be hard to find – but finding an old pension is something that some people may tend to put off, or maybe think is more complicated than it actually is.
4 steps to rediscovering the pension pot at the end of the rainbow
There are a few small steps that your employees can take to set up the process of finding a lost pension – or pensions and there’s plenty of support they can get along the way. Here’s a few tips to help get them started:
- Go through paperwork
You may have gone paperless these days, but chances are you’ll need to go old school to find evidence of schemes that go back a few years. It’s worth having a look through drawers and files, but if there’s nothing there it’s not the end of the world.
- Think where you used to work, and when
If you can’t remember all the details, past or present CVs may have the dates you’re looking for.
- Find the contact details
You could get in touch with former employers’ HR departments to trace scheme details. Or you could simply visit the pension tracing service. They’ll help you to find contact details online.
- Contact your old provider(s)
If they do have a record of a pension in your name, find out how much you have and request an up-to-date statement – the value could have changed significantly since you last paid into it. Finally, check if you can access your information online.
What you do then is up to you…
You can leave your pension scheme where it is - what you’ve built up still belongs to you or you can normally move it to another pension scheme. There are many reasons why it might be a good idea to move your pension from one scheme to another. You might be able to get lower charges, or access to different options, investments and features.
But before you consider transferring pensions elsewhere, you need to know whether you’d be losing any benefits by doing so. Transferring isn’t the right choice for everyone, and you should be wary of scammers who might contact you with the promise of a free review or amazing returns. We’d always recommend that people should shop around carefully and get some financial advice before making any major decisions.