Finding a lost pension could make you tens of thousands of pounds better off

Published  25 October 2022
   2 min read

Commenting on National Pension Tracing Day (30 October), an initiative designed to make people aware of any pensions they might have forgotten about, Royal London’s consumer finance specialist, Sarah Pennells, said:

"It’s estimated that there’s £19.4 billion in lost pensions with as many as one in 30 people having a pension they’ve lost track of.

"During the cost of living crisis it’s more important than ever that you track down your lost pensions – it’s easy to do, and it’s free. Forgotten pensions are worth an average of £13,000 each so some people could be tens of thousands of pounds better off as a result of tracking one down.

"Most of us will have several jobs in our lifetime, so it’s easy to lose touch with an old pension, especially if you forgot to tell your old pension provider your new address when you moved house. If you think you may have a lost pension, start by contacting your previous pension provider, if you know who it is. If you can’t remember who your pension was with, you can use the government’s Pension Tracing Service.  You don’t have to pay a penny to trace a lost pension – you can do it free of charge."

Royal London’s tips on tracking down a lost pension:

  1. Take a look at your CV or think about every job you’ve had since you left school or university. For every job you’ve done, you might have had a workplace pension.

  2. Check your files or drawers to see if you’ve got any pension statements from your previous pension providers. They’ll give you the details of any old plans. The more information you have about your previous plans, the better.

  3. If you know which provider your old pension was with, the first step is to contact them.

  4. When you get in touch, you should give them as much information as possible to help them reunite you with your pension savings. This includes:
    - Your plan number, if you’ve been able to find it on your old paperwork
    - Your date of birth, and
    - Your National Insurance number.

  5. If you think you have a missing pension, but you can’t find any information about it at all, you can try the government’s free Pension Tracing Service. You can visit their gov.uk website or give them a ring on 0345 600 2537. If you know the name of your old employer (when you worked for them) or of the pension company, the service can give you up-to-date contact details.

  6. The Pension Tracing Service will only tell you the contact details of the pension’s administrator – it won’t tell you whether you have a pension or how much it might be.

  7. You'll need to contact the pension administrator yourself to find out whether you have a pension and what its value is.

  8. Even if you have pension paperwork from a previous employer, it doesn’t always mean that you have a pension entitlement. For example, you may have had a refund of your contributions when you left that employer. Many older workplace pensions may have also needed you to be a member for a certain number of years, before you were entitled to a pension.

  9. Watch out for scammers. Scammers are quick to ‘piggyback’ off legitimate events, so may be more active around National Pension Tracing Day.

  10. If you move house in the future, make sure you tell your pension providers your new address, so you don’t lose track of your pensions again.

There’s lots more information on how to track down your lost pensions on the National Pension Tracing Day website.

For further information please contact:

Maria Da Costa, Senior Communications Consultant

Notes to editor

There are an estimated 1.6 million unclaimed pensions in the UK, worth £19.4 billion, according to research by the Association of British Insurers.

Sarah Pennells is available for broadcast interviews – please contact Meera Khanna (meera.khanna@royallondon.com / 07919 170 502) for more details.

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £150 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 4,262 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2022. Learn more at royallondon.com

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