How can I find my pension(s)?
To find out the value of your pensions, you need to contact your pension providers. If you’re not sure who your pension providers are, then you can contact your former employers to find out, or use the government’s Pension Tracing Service.
Finding a lost pension
If you’ve had several different jobs, it’s likely that you’ve started and paid into several different workplace pensions.
Keeping track of multiple pension pots can be difficult, and you may even find that you’ve lost track of one or more pensions altogether, especially if you’ve moved house and you no longer receive pension statements.
The amount of money in dormant pensions is expected to reach £750bn by 2050.
If you’ve got various pensions scattered around then it’s very hard to keep track of your money, monitor the fees you’re paying, and make the most of your retirement savings.
To check the details of your old pensions you need to contact your pension providers. But what if you can’t remember who your pension provider was and you can’t find any paperwork with the details?
Contacting your employers to find your pensions
In this case, you can try asking your previous employers for details of your old workplace pensions. Contact the HR department, providing details like your employment dates, the probable dates of your pension scheme membership and your National Insurance number.
If you’ve worked for the public sector, you should be able to find information about your pension on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website.
The Pension Tracing Service
Alternatively, you can use the Pension Tracing Service to find your pensions. This is a free government service that searches a database to find the names and contact details of your pension providers. You can fill in their online form, call them or write to them to start the process.
What’s next? Transferring old pensions
Once you’ve found your old pensions you can choose to combine them into a single plan. The benefits of doing this may include lower fees and easier management of your money. You can opt to combine your pension pots into a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), which will give you some choice over how your funds are invested. When you’re choosing a new plan you should look carefully at the provider’s fee structure, the investment options they provide, and whether there’s a minimum contribution amount.
It’s important to note that some pensions – in particular defined benefit pensions – have important guarantees. The government requires you to seek financial advice if you’d like to move a defined benefit pension worth over £30,000.