Finding a lost pension can make you thousands of pounds better off

Published  26 October 2023
   4 min read

Commenting on National Pension Tracing Day (29 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 £26.6 billion in lost pensions, worth an average of £9,500 each*. Anyone who’s had more than one job could have a lost pension and miss out on thousands of pounds in retirement.

“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 old pension provider. If you can’t remember who your pension was with, you can use the government’s Pension Tracing Service. It will give you up to date contact details for the pension scheme.

“If there’s a lost pension with your name on it, you could be thousands of pounds better off when you retire.” 

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 old pension statements from your pension providers. They’ll give you the details of any 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 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 value it 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.

Notes to editor

* National Pension Tracing Day - 29th October 2023

There is an estimated £26.6 billion in lost pensions, according to research by the Pensions Policy Institute in 2022.  

For further information please contact:

Nicki Parry, PR Manager

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, and in the top 25 mutuals globally, with assets under management of £153 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and over 4,100 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2023. Learn more at