There’s a lot to think about when you move house, from finding the kettle to redirecting the mail. Yet while most of us get round to updating our bank details and letting our GP know our new address, only one in 25 remember to get in touch with our pension provider. Between house moves and new jobs, it’s easy to lose track of your pension pots – but all those lost pots add up. In fact, there’s now £26.6 billion of unclaimed pensions in the UK.
If you’re beginning to think about your retirement, having a good understanding of how much your pension savings are worth can make planning easier. But for many of us with multiple pensions, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here we look at how you can find a lost pension, and whether transferring your pensions into a single pension pot might be right for you.
How do I find my old pensions?
Between new jobs, frequent house moves and lost paperwork, it can be difficult to keep on top of our pension schemes. You can find details on your old pensions in three ways:
- Contact the pension provider
- Contact your former employer, if it was a Workplace pension
- Use a pension tracing service
Workplace pensions can often be with a different provider for each job you hold, meaning you could build up several pots over your working life. If you’re struggling to contact a previous employer, perhaps if the company is no longer trading, or trading under a new name, you may wish to use the government’s free Pension Tracing Service.
Manage all your pension pots in one place
Whether you're self-employed and looking to save for retirement, or just looking for a place to bring your pensions together, our Personal Pension could be right for you.
You could consider pension consolidation. This means combining some or all of your eligible pension pots into one. Combining your pension savings can provide a better way to plan your retirement finances.
Having your pension savings in one pot is likely to make it easier to manage and can also save you money, as each provider has its own annual management fee. By moving your pension into one with the smallest management fee, you could be saving money each year. However always get advice, and ensure you shop around before making any decisions. If you’re not sure where to find an adviser, try the Unbiased website.
Should I consolidate my pensions?
Combining pensions into one pot isn’t right for everyone. You may lose valuable benefits by consolidating, or there may be an exit charge for moving your money. However, you might choose to consolidate to simplify the paperwork and make funds easier to manage, or potentially reduce fees and charges.
It’s really important to have a good understanding of all your pension savings, and consolidation can help give you a clearer view of how your pension pot is doing and to reduce the paperwork, as well as visibility of any charges you may be paying.
Many people are unaware of the charges they’re incurring on their pensions or how combining your pension can help you keep track when you do decide to draw your pension income. You can learn more about that in our article on pension fees and charges.
How does this help with my retirement planning?
Planning for your financial future is really important. Understanding how much your total pension savings are worth can help you make better decisions about when you would like to retire, and plan for the retirement you want.
If you’d like to understand more about planning for retirement you may be interested in our free course with the Open University which can help you with retirement planning.
For free impartial guidance on how to trace and consolidate your pension, visit the Pension Wise from MoneyHelper website.