How do I find my pension?

It’s very common to not think too much about your pensions until later in life. Even after years of making contributions and the hard work you put into saving, old pension schemes can he hard to keep track of.

Forgetting about old pension is so common in fact, that it has resulted in nearly £20bn remaining unclaimed1. You’ve made the contributions, so it’s only right that you reap the rewards in retirement.

Why do pensions remain unclaimed?

The two main contributors to people forgetting about their old pensions are moving house and changing jobs.

With so much to do when moving house, updating your pension providers often falls to the bottom of the list. And without your annual statements coming through your door and acting as a regular reminder, it’s easy to forget about the pensions you held years ago.

Changing jobs can also lead to forgetting about an old workplace pension. And with the average person changing jobs 11 times in their lifetime1, it’s likely that many people hold pensions that they have forgotten about. Once you have changed jobs, you are no longer paying contributions to your previous pension scheme and become focused on your current one. And we all forget about things when we don’t have to think about them regularly.

What is the easiest way to find my pension?

The good news is that the government have made it pretty easy to track down an old pension. With their online tracking tool you can locate any lost pensions using the name of the pension provider or your previous employer.

Can I find my pension with my National Insurance number?

If you are unsure about the name of your pension provider or are having trouble locating your pension using the online tool, you can also track down your lost pension using your National Insurance number. This can be done by:

  • Sending your NI number to HMRC to find out if you opted out of SERPS

  • Sending your NI number to a past employer to ask for details about your pension scheme administrator

Other ways to find your pension

Contact your pension provider

If you know the name of the pension provider, you can also contact them directly. You will need to supply a range of details so that they can location your pension for you. Once they have found it, you can learn all the details of your pension.

Contact your former employer

If you don’t know the name of your pension provider, you can contact your former employer. They should be able to provide the details of your pension scheme as well as the type of scheme you had. From here you can contact the provider for more details.

What if I still can’t find my pension?

You can also track down a pension by looking at old bank statements or payslips. These will sometimes say where your pension contributions were being paid and point you in the right direction.

Sometimes the Pension Protection Fund will take over a pension scheme making it difficult to find under the original name. This happens when an employer is not able to pay the pension benefits promised to its members. Contacting the PPF may help you find your pension.

What can I do once I have located my pension?

So, you’ve located your lost pension, leaving you in a better position for retirement. What can you do with them next? To start with, moving older pension plans into your current plan could make things easier to manage. You can also explore other pension providers to see if there is a better home for your savings. Switching your pension to another provider could help grow your pot even more, leaving you in a better position when you retire.

An independent and regulated financial adviser will search the market for a scheme with lower charges and a history of better performance. They can manage your pension for you every step of the way, ensuring that you get the best pension scheme out there with the benefits that suit you.

1  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-more-make-contact-with-long-lost-funds

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The details provided in this article are for general information only and are in no way deemed to be financial advice. All of the material is correct as of the publication date, but could be out-of-date by the time you read the article.