Somewhere out there is almost £27billion in ‘lost’ pension pots, according to a recent report.
The Times tells us there are 2.8 million ‘missing’ pots out there which highlights the difficulties savers can often face keeping track of what they hold.
The startling numbers are based on a report from the Pensions Policy Institute, an industry think-tank.
The recent National Pension Day (yes, that is indeed a thing!) saw experts lining up to tell people to redouble their efforts to find those hidden, lost or just plain forgotten pension stashes, that have an average value of around £9,500.
It seems large numbers of people moving home or changing jobs, especially during the pandemic, have added to the missing pension problem and apparently, younger people especially are less likely to keep track of what they have.
The auto-enrolment system introduced a decade ago and under which workers aged over 22 and earning £10,000 automatically join a workplace pension scheme (unless they opt out) has also proved to be almost too successful.
The route to finding a lost pension is straightforward for most people, though it may seem confusing at first. People looking for a missing pot should find their national insurance number, and the names and addresses of their previous employers.
Then they can use the online tracker at www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details.
We would also strongly urge anyone who thinks they have bits and pieces of pensions out there ‘somewhere’ and would like to consolidate them to seek advice as soon as they can.
Don’t forget, however much your ‘pots’ might be and however scattered, the money is most definitely still yours and too many people miss out on extra retirement income because they’ve lost or even forgotten about mislaid pensions, or perhaps simply don’t know how to track them down.
The Government is proposing a ‘pension dashboard’ online next year where people can track all their pensions, including their State Pension all in one place.
That’s not here yet and even when it is, often the best way to understand and get the best bang for your buck is to seek professional financial advice – we are always here of course and any initial consultation is at our cost and without obligation!