Tracing Lost Pensions: A Guide to Locating Missing Retirement Funds in the UK

Millions of Brits have lost track of their pensions, costing them billions. Experts advise tracking down lost pots, consolidating accounts, and reviewing savings annually for a secure retirement.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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Tracing Lost Pensions: A Guide to Locating Missing Retirement Funds in the UK

Tracing Lost Pensions: A Guide to Locating Missing Retirement Funds in the UK

In the United Kingdom, an estimated 4.8 million workplace pension pots are currently missing, amounting to around £50 billion in unclaimed retirement savings. Many British workers have lost track of their pensions due to frequently changing jobs, moving house without updating pension providers, or opting out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) in the 1980s and 1990s.

To help individuals track down their lost pensions, experts recommend several steps. First, check your government state pension forecast to understand your expected state pension payments. Next, write to HMRC to obtain details of any pension providers associated with your National Insurance number. Finally, contact those providers directly to inquire about any pensions in your name.

Why this matters: Locating and consolidating lost pension pots is vital for ensuring a secure retirement. Leaving pensions in accounts with high fees or poor performance can erode savings over time, significantly impacting retirement income.

Felicia Hjertman, founder and CEO of investment group TILLITT, encourages all savers to keep track of their pensions to maintain control over their retirement funds. "I would encourage everyone, both young savers and those closer to retirement to keep track of their pensions," Hjertman said. She suggests consolidating multiple pension pots into one when changing jobs, either into a new workplace pension or a private pension, to limit the risk of losing track of old pots and potentially benefit from lower fees.

Experts also recommend reviewing pensions at least once a year to ensure savings are on track for retirement goals. Checking the state pension forecast is important for understanding expected state pension payments, which recently increased by 8.5% in 2024.

With millions of pounds in unclaimed pension savings, it is vital for individuals to take action and track down their lost pensions. By following the recommended steps and regularly reviewing their retirement funds, British workers can ensure a more secure financial future in their golden years.

Key Takeaways

  • 4.8 million UK workplace pension pots worth £50 billion are missing
  • Check state pension forecast, contact HMRC, and pension providers to locate lost pots
  • Consolidating lost pensions can limit fees and improve retirement savings
  • Review pensions annually to ensure savings are on track for retirement
  • Tracking down lost pensions is vital for a secure financial future