More and more of us are losing track of old pensions as we hop between jobs, move home or take career breaks during our working lives. Research from the Pensions Policy Institute Footnote [1]  found that, in the UK, between 2018 and 2022 the number of lost pensions increased 73% to 2.8 million. And with each one worth an average £9,470 that's a huge amount of money that could be supporting easier retirements. 

Don’t worry if you’ve struggled to keep tabs on yours. Rediscovering your lost pensions isn’t complicated and it won’t take a huge chunk of your time. The rewards for a little effort could be well worth it.

Why should you find a lost pension now?

If you’re not close to retirement, you may think there’s no rush to find your old pensions. But the sooner you sort it out, the better.

Without the details of your pensions you won’t know how your money is being invested, or what you’re paying in fees. Both can make a big difference to how the amount you’ve paid in could grow over the years.

By finding that pension you can check how it’s being run and what you’re paying. So, if you don’t like how it’s performing, you can move it. To see how you could take control of your retirement money, check out our six simple tricks that can help boost your pension.

How do you find a lost pension?

There are a few simple steps to tracking down any lost pensions. You can either do a bit of detective work and track down your pensions yourself or use a pension tracing service.

Check your paperwork

You could start by seeing if you have any paperwork from your old employer stashed away that might have details about your old pension, like old payslips. If you can’t find anything, get in touch with the HR department or pension administrator at your old jobs. They should be able to give you information about the pension scheme you were enrolled in.

Use a free service

At Aviva, we have a new Find and Combine service that's free to use with no obligation - you don't even have to be an Aviva Customer. 

Just give us a few bits of personal information like your name, address, National Insurance number and any pension details you have. We’ll contact your previous employers for you to track down any old pensions. Then we’ll put together a report with details of the pensions we've found. What you decide to do with that information is up to you.

What should you do when you find your pension?

The money in your pension plans belongs to you. Once you have the details, you can choose to leave it where it is or move it to another provider.

One thing that can be worthwhile is to move your scattered pensions into one pot. Bringing them together can mean a lot less admin to worry about. You’ll also have a much clearer idea of how much income you can expect for your retirement. And you may even have lower charges, which over the years can make a difference. 

If you've found your pensions our Find and Combine service can take the next steps, it will check whether you'll lose any valuable benefits and look to see if you'll be charged fees to move them. Then we'll give you a report, so you can decide whether it’s the right move for you. 

If you're considering transferring your pensions you should think about charges and where you can invest with the new pension. The value of your pension may go down as well as up and you could get back less than has been put in. 

If you’re still unsure you should seek financial advice. You can find a financial adviser at Unbiased – there may be a charge for advice. Aviva Financial Advice also offers pension advice.

How do I stop pensions getting lost?

In future, make sure you hold onto any pension information provided by your new employer. Keep a note of your pension number in a safe place and make sure your pension provider is on the list of companies to notify when you move house.

When you start a new job, you may have the option to transfer your old workplace pension to your new employer’s pension scheme. You’ll need to chat to your new employer to get the ball rolling. 

If you’d like to transfer any of your existing pensions to us, you can either use an existing Aviva Pension or open a new self-invested personal pension (SIPP). Our SIPP is an award-winner and may give you control over how you invest for your retirement. 

Pull your old pensions together

Our new, free Find and Combine service can do the work for you