What to do if you have Lost Track of your Pension
It is estimated that one in five people have lost track of at least one of their pensions, with two in five being unsure of how much they have put into their pension pot. Losing track of pensions is a lot easier than you think, reasons why people may lose track of their pensions include not keeping personal details up to date, i.e. not changing you address with your pension provider when you move house or even country and not keeping files on each scheme.
Since the launch of auto-enrolment pensions this has become a much larger concern, as millions of people will have auto-enrolment pensions, many may not consider their auto-enrolment pension when they change jobs and could end up with a new pension pot for every job.
With the average person having 11 jobs during their lifetime, it could mean millions of people will have several pensions, making them harder to keep track of and leading to an increase in the number of people who lose track of their retirement savings.
Losing track of a pension could mean that savings you have made for your retirement could be lost, particularly if you are unsure if you had one in the first place, however, in most cases lost pensions can be found.
At Castlegate, as an experienced Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) we work with our clients to support and advise them on all aspects of pensions in Lincoln and the surrounding areas, from planning and tracking to consolidation of their pension pots.
How to track lost pensions
The Department for Work and Pensions has a tracing service to help people track workplace pensions they have lost sight of. The service works by asking you to enter the names of your previous employers, it will then provide current contact details for each employer for you to contact them.
It is advisable to write to your previous employers, being sure to include your current and any previous names and addresses, your national insurance number and the dates you worked from the company. With this information, previous employers will be able to tell you details of any pension schemes you were enrolled in whilst working for them.
Once you have tracked your pensions, it is imperative that you keep details of each scheme somewhere safe to prevent losing sight of them in the future and be sure to keep each scheme up to date with any changes in your circumstances such as a change of name or address, so further details or statements are sent to the correct address and can be added to your file.
Keeping track of your pensions is set to become easier as of 2019, the UK Government are planning to launch a pensions dashboard to help people manage their pensions from one place. The dashboard will be able to track all your pensions from state pensions to private pensions.
Once you have tracked your pensions, you may find that you have several small pension pots, if this is the case you may want to consolidate these into one. This not only makes it easier to track it could also mean more for your retirement saving funds through economies of scale and ensuring the underlying investment strategy is appropriate, given your objectives and investment risk tolerance. Care should be taken, however, as some old pension contracts contain valuable guarantees which would be lost should they be transferred. It is always best to seek the advice of an IFA to ensure you make an informed decision. Our team of independent financial advisers at Castlegate can support you with all aspects of pensions in Lincoln.
As an IFA we can advise and support you with all aspects of pensions in Lincoln and the surrounding areas. If you are looking for advice on your pensions in Lincoln or across the East Midlands, please do not hesitate to get in touch to talk about the most appropriate investment products for your personal circumstances and financial objectives.