It’s worryingly easy to lose track of old pensions, many of which will be worth considerable sums of money and could make a big difference to your retirement.
But the fact is, a huge number of people are losing touch with these pots of cash as time passes.
For example, many people will know that they should tell their bank and GP if they’re moving house, and make sure they do so as soon as they can. But how many will think to get in touch with their pension provider too?
Or if someone leaves one job for another, managing their previous workplace pension might be so far down their list of priorities that they forget about it completely.
According to new figures from the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI), the value of lost pension pots has gone up by 37 per cent in the last four years, rising to a staggering £26.6 billion. These are worth an average of £9,470 – a significant amount, to say the least.
Figures also showed that nearly three million pension pots are not currently matched with their owner. That’s an increase of 75 per cent since 2018.
So if you’re one of those people who has lost track of an old pension plan, what can you do?
Well, one option is to speak to your previous employer, as they could have the details that you need, or you could get in touch with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) for help.
The figures from the PPI should be the jolt that you need to take control of your pension planning and locate any pots of money you think you’ve lost track of.
It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task, and the benefits can be very tangible and significant.
For example, it could be the key that helps you unlock a much more comfortable retirement, or even enable you to retire earlier than you originally thought.
Alternatively, it could empower you to take charge of your overall financial situation and make your money work harder for you.
For instance, you might still be paying for a pension provider to manage a pot you’ve forgotten all about, but now be able to switch to a provider with lower charges or no fees at all, thereby saving considerable sums of money.
Or perhaps you might be encouraged to check your wider investment choices, as the money in your newly recovered pension pot could open up new options and opportunities to you, and make you look again at your financial and lifestyle goals.
If you have any questions about reclaiming lost pension pots or deciding what to do with schemes you’d forgotten all about, feel free to get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to help and discuss your options.
A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until age 55 (57 from April 2028 unless the plan has a protected pension age). The value of your investments (and any income from them) can down as well as up which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits. The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation which are subject to change. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.