Trace then track: Finding your lost pension pot(s) of gold

Ahead of National Pension Tracing Day, we look at how you can trace your lost pension pots – and then use this information to track their progress, too!

After spending many years working hard, everyone deserves to have the best retirement possible – although each person’s pension savings and goals will be different – everyone’s planning begins with understanding what savings you have and whether you’re getting the best from them.

This can be complicated when you’ve accumulated a number of different pension pots. We will have 11 jobs on average in our lifetimes1, so it’s no surprise that losing track of old pensions can be easily done!

Many people can therefore reach middle age and have their retirement savings split across several different pots, including workplace schemes, private pensions and your state entitlement. 

Tick tock

It’s estimated that there are unclaimed pension pots worth £19.4 billion in the UK, averaging at £13,000 each2 – often because people have lost the paperwork, forgotten the name of their provider or can’t remember if they even had a pension with a former employer.

Even if it’s not the proverbial ‘pot of gold’, it still goes without saying that finding a missing pension pot could make a huge difference to your retirement plans!

There’s therefore no time like the present to take control of your pensions, especially as National Pension Tracing Day falls on 31 October 2021 – the same day the clocks go back on. Why not put that extra hour to good use?

Trace…

It can be daunting to know where to start to find a lost pension pot, but there are two key steps you can take to find any hidden money:

  1. Make sure any old pension providers have a current address for you. If you’ve recently moved house, you should write to the pension company, tell them your new address and ask for a statement.
  2. Even if you can’t remember your previous company details, the government-backed Pension Tracing Service may be able to help. Contact them online at www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details or by calling 0800 731 0193.

 …and track

Once you’ve been reunited with your pension pots, look at where your money is held, and track the success of your investments.

Note how much each pension pot is worth, and assess whether they’re working hard for you and continue to be fit for purpose. For example, you may have a pot from 10 years ago that was growing back then but is now dragging its feet. You might still be paying fees and charges on multiple pension pots to which you’re no longer contributing. All of this could be costing you money.

We can help

The time and effort you spend now on planning could pay off massively in the years to come – not just in terms of potential financial reward, but also in the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re on track for that retirement you desire.

If you would like advice on how your pensions are performing, and how to make the most of the pension allowances you’re entitled to, it might be a good idea to speak to a financial adviser.

At Wellesley we can run through all your investments with you – and together, we can fine-tune your retirement strategy. Contact us today on 01444 244551.

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested.

The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time and are dependent on individual circumstances.

 Sources

1,2 ‘Lost pensions: what’s the scale and impact?’, Pensions Policy Institute, 2018

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