There is a tonne of missing money sitting in forgotten pensions. If you do one money making thing this year, then you owe it to yourself to make sure you know where all your past pensions are.
Research from Aegon found that while 64% of us have multiple pension pots, 22% (potentially more than 7 million people) of these have lost track of one or all of their pensions. This means there are potentially billions of pounds sitting, ownerless, waiting to be claimed.
If you’re like most women, you’ve probably had several jobs over your working life. And you probably contributed to a pension when you were at some, if not all, of your past employers. This pension money is yours – but if you haven’t told your former employer your current address, then it can’t contact you easily.
There are a few easy steps to tracking down pensions, as detailed by Aegon:
1. Find your past pensions using the DWP Pensions Tracing service here. You fill in your old employer’s name and it will give its current address. You then write to this address with your current and previous names and your NI number.
2. Some pension schemes won’t have been updated for some time. To get the contact details you will need to fill out an online form with your name , email address and any information you believe is relevant such as the dates you were at the company and your national insurance number.
3. Get a State pension forecast, either in paper format or online here.
4. And once you’ve tracked down your pensions, get advice before consolidating them to make sure you don’t lose out on any valuable benefits.
This final point is important: don’t move pensions into one place just because you think it will be easier to keep track of them in the future. Having all your pension eggs in one basket isn’t always a good idea: do get good financial advice before you take this step.