Tracing a pension: How to go about finding old pensions
If you are a member of a pension scheme, and the provider has your correct address, it is likely that you will be receiving an annual pension statement. However, if you are an expat who has moved abroad without informing all your providers of your new address, you may not have been receiving regular information.
In this situation there are three organisations you can contact to help you find old pensions:
- The pension scheme provider, if you’re tracing a pension you are aware of
- Your former employer, if it was a workplace pension, or
- The Pension Tracing Service, if you need to find lost pension plans
Whoever you contact, the pension transfer process will move more quickly if you can provide them with as much personal information as possible. For example, you should attempt to provide all of the following:
- Your date of birth
- Your National Insurance number
- Your pension plan number
- The date your pension was set up
- The name of your previous employer/s
- The type of business you were working in
- When you belonged to the scheme
How do I find out if I have a pension with a previous employer?
Sometimes, finding old pensions can be tricky, particularly if you’ve had a long list of jobs and are struggling to remember all of your providers. However, it is essential to find lost pension pots before embarking on a pension transfer overseas. Fortunately, you can contact the Pension Tracing Service, which is perhaps the single most useful portal for tracing old pensions.
The service is free and it is even possible to find a pension if you do not have the contact information for the provider or providers concerned. To find a pension, the Pension Tracing Service searches their database of over 200,000 schemes, to provide you with the relevant contact details.
However, The Pension Tracing Service will only provide contact details of the scheme’s administrator. To continue with a pension transfer, you will need to contact the pension administrator to confirm whether you are enrolled on the scheme, find out its value and request a pension transfer overseas.
Things you will need to know before you transfer pension pots
After using the Pension Tracing Service to find old pensions, there are several things you should know ahead of your pension transfer. For instance:
- What is the current value of the pension pot and how much will be payable at your chosen date of retirement?
- What pension management fees will be charged?
- According to the pension transfer rules of your scheme, will there be any charges for making a pension transfer?
- What options, if any, there are for you to decide as to how your pension pot is being invested?
Help transferring your pension overseas
Blacktower Financial Management provides regulated advice on the suitability of transferring a pension overseas to a QROPS, SIPP or other vehicle. We only ever suggest a pension transfer when it is in the best interest of the saver and only after undertaking an exhaustive fact-finding process.
For more information about how we may be able to help you find old pensions or explain pension transfer rules in further detail, contact us today.
Disclaimer: This communication is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice form a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity.