Have you ‘lost’ a pension?
Written by Paul Dodd on May 18, 2016.
Losing a pension might sound like a pretty careless thing to do but with an estimated £400mn of unclaimed pensions in the UK it is far from a rare occurrence! In fact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) believe that 80% of us will lose track of a pension at some point in our lives!
With the ‘job for life’ days well and truly gone, the government estimates that the average person will have eleven jobs over the course of their lifetime which makes for a lot of pensions to monitor. It’s not surprising that some slip under the radar. In addition, recent reforms to the pension service giving individuals far greater freedom over where and how to save and when they can access their money, will only create more confusion. Over the last decade the number of lost pension tracking requests has increased by an astounding 436%, a trend which looks set to continue.
Fortunately for those who think they might have some lost retirement savings lurking around somewhere, the DWP has just launched a brand new Pension Tracing Service. The website will enable individuals to check if they have lost pensions savings in a matter of minutes rather than the four days under the previous system, which involved form filling and a heavy dose of patience.
To check whether you might be in for a windfall from a pension you have forgotten about, or lost track of, you need to be armed with your National Insurance number, all previous addresses as well as your current one and any former names. Finding lost pensions may impact on your estate planning or could be a key asset for consideration in a divorce so it definitely makes sense to get all your ducks in a row if you can.
A word of warning before you launch in – if you use a search engine to find the service, do check that you are on the official government website ending .gov.uk rather than a fake site which could be a scam.
If you are successful in your search and would like some advice on consolidating pensions or investing I’d be happy to help. Good luck!