Multiple pension plans: have you lost a pot?

Multiple pension plans have you lost a pot

Ever get the feeling that you’ve forgotten something, though you’re not sure what?

There’s a chance that it could be a pension pot, as government data shows that there is currently more than £400 million in unclaimed pension funds.

Naturally, saving for retirement is something that you want to stay on top of, but it is surprisingly easy to lose track of one or more pension funds. Especially since auto-enrolment means that, from 2018, each job could come with another workplace pension. Now, we’re not saying that jobs grow on trees, but Gov UK reports that the average adult will have 11 jobs during their lifetime, so it is likely that the majority will be enrolled in more than one pension.

As auto-enrolment captures more and more workers, it is estimated that there will be 50 million unused and forgotten pension pots by 2050. So, how can you make sure that yours isn’t among them?

Find a lost pension

The government has introduced the Pension Tracing Service. Before using this service:

  • You must be searching for a pension belonging to you, or to someone who has given you permission to do so on their behalf
  • You need to know the name of the employer with whom you think you may have a stagnant pension pot

To use the service, you simply select the type of pension you believe you have (personal, workplace or A Civil Service, NHS, teacher or armed forces pension), then enter the name of your employer to find the contact details of their pension provider.

You can then use this information to enquire about your own plan.
When contacting the pension provider, you will need the following information:

  • Your full name and National Insurance number, so that they can check their records
  • Current and former addresses, to match the information given when you joined the scheme
  • Telephone number and email address, so that the provider can contact you

Five ways to stay organised

Once you are confident that you are in control of your pension pots, it’s time to keep it that way. There are six further steps you can take to both stay on top of them, and make sure that they are positioned to achieve your desired retirement lifestyle:

  1. Know what to expect: Working out what you currently have in pension funds lets you know what you need to do to retire comfortably. Don’t forget to include your State Pension Forecast, which you can find out here.
  2. Consolidate: It is worth considering whether transferring all your pots into one fund will make your retirement planning easier. Although, consolidation is not right for everyone, so it is worth seeking professional advice before committing.
  3. Keep records: Whether you choose to consolidate them or keep them separate, keeping the details of your pension pot(s) safe and up to date is vital. Make sure that you are organised and know who to contact if you have any questions about your fund(s).
  4. Update your details: If your circumstances change in any way, be sure to update your contact details and let your pension provider(s) know about anything that could change your plan.
  5. Take financial advice: Having multiple pension pots can make managing your retirement planning more difficult. Plus, the more you must maintain, the easier it is to forget or ‘lose’ a pot. A financial adviser will be able to help you to look at the options, including consolidation and find a plan which works for you and helps you to achieve your goals.

If you need help with your pension pots or retirement planning, feel free to get in touch with us on 0207 808 4120.