Your pension may be your most important investment of your entire life – and the most rewarding you ever make.
It seems inconceivable that you would forget about money that is rightfully yours – and yet that is exactly what has happened to £26.6bn of pension savings, spread across three million pots not currently matched to their owners.
At Continuum we are looking at how this can happen – and at what you should do if it has happened to you.
More of us are mislaying pensions
The Pension Policy Institute (PPI) has found that the number of pension pots considered as lost has increased by 75% – and £7bn – over the last four years.
This means that many more people are missing out on money that can make a real difference to their retirement.
Problems tend to arise as people forget about pots built up in previous jobs. On average, we will work for around eleven different employers during our lifetimes. But as we make our way up the career ladder, we can leave employers pension plans behind and the more pensions you have, the easier it is to end up losing track of some.
Pensions are also lost when people change their name or move house without telling their pension provider. Only around one in 25 of us remember to tell our pension provider that we have moved home. The pension providers of previous employers will try to send out statements, but if they don’t have our new address, we will never receive them.
There could be thousands of pounds of your money – an average of nearly £9,470 per pension pot – waiting for you.
The good news? That money may be forgotten, but it is not lost. Pension providers, pension schemes and employers can all help tracing lost pensions, and getting your money isn’t as difficult as you might think.
Do you think you might have a pension from an old job?
If you think you might have pension funds with a previous employer, the first step is to get in touch with them.
You’ll need to give them details of when you were employed and your National Insurance number. Your full name and any previous names, your date of birth and your address at the time you were employed could all help.
They should be able to tell you if you had a pension with the business, the name of your pension provider and policy number.
The next step is to track down your pension provider. They should be able to tell you how much your lost pension is currently worth, how it is performing and what pension options it provides you with now.
You might need to provide some additional information to prove your identity.
Getting help from Continuum
At Continuum we can help you find your lost pensions.
But we don’t stop there. We can help you to make the most of them. You may be getting a poor deal from these rediscovered pensions, especially as you will be paying multiple management charges on them.
We can help you consolidate your pension pots, cutting the money lost to management charges, and making them easier to keep track of in future.
We can also help you look at all your pension arrangements and help find ways to make your existing pension savings work harder.
Finding lost pensions could be just one step in a pension review that leaves you a great deal better off – and your prospects for the future a great deal brighter. Call us today on 0345 643 0770.
The value of pension investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested.The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable retirement strategy, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.