Lost pensions: how to track them down

It's easy to lose track of your pensions

Even if you only have a small amount, it's still worth tracking them down as they could provide you with extra income when you retire.

Are you sure it’s lost?

This is the first question you need to ask. Because even if you have a certificate 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.

Try our list of pension providers

Royal London has been around since 1861, and in that time, a number of pension providers have joined us. You may be surprised at just how many companies we have records for.

So it could be worth having a look at our database for any pensions you may be missing.

Pick a company

Bronze binoculars

Pensions Tracing Service

The Pension Tracing Service is a free service set up by the government to help you track down old pensions. You can visit their gov.uk website or give them a ring on 0345 6002 537.

You should try to collect as much information as you can about the pension you've lost before using the Pension Tracing Service. Ideally, this should include:

For a workplace pension:

  • Name of the employer
  • Type of business
  • Your last address 
  • When you worked for the employer

For a personal pension:

  • Name of the pension
  • Your last address 
  • The name of any bank, insurance company or building society associated with your personal pension

The Pension Tracing Service can then use this information to search through their database of over 200,000 pensions and may be able to give you the contact details for a workplace pension or personal pension you've lost touch with. This includes details of the new company or provider name if your old pension has been taken over or changed its name over the years.

The Pension Tracing Service will only tell you the contact details of the pension’s administrator. You'll then need to contact the pension administrator to find out whether you have a pension, what value it is and to ask for it to be paid out.