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National Pension Tracing Day – How to reclaim your lost pensions

Whilst moving house or changing job it can be easy to forget about your pension – there are usually more pressing things to worry about. Settling into your new role or new home takes priority over informing your pension provider of your change in address or finding the documentation required to keep your pension plan updated, and before you know it, the pension from your previous employer is all but forgotten. Findings show that 17% of us will lose track of at least one of our pension plans in our life, resulting in £19.4 billion being lost across 1.6 million pension pots. To prevent this happening to you, make the most of the extra hour provided by daylight savings this Sunday, and read our advice on how to trace your pensions.

How to prevent losing your pension

Keep Records

It makes it a lot easier to keep track of your pensions if you keep your records updated as you go along – rather than having to backtrack and request the relevant information from previous employers, it should all be in one place if you stay organised. Most pension plans are required by law to send you annual updates on your plan, this is a great way to monitor the progress of your pension and keep track of which schemes you are/have been enrolled in. In order to receive these updates, you must provide your pension provider with your updated address should you move house. Prioritise this as you would your Wi-Fi provider or mailing address to ensure your pension is not forgotten about.

Don’t Forget Frozen Pensions

It can be particularly easy to forget about frozen pensions, as these are pensions that neither you or your previous employer continue to contribute to. However, the money in these frozen pensions is still yours and you should still be able to access it come retirement – unless you consolidate your pension plans. If you choose to consolidate, this money will move into a different pension plan. If you don’t consolidate your pensions, it is vital you keep track of any relevant documentation.

What happens when I switch employers?

Changing jobs is one of the most frequent reasons that pensions are lost, to prevent this happening you need to make sure that you are aware of what is happening to your old pension when you enrol on your new scheme. There is two ways you can go about this:

  1. You can move the old pension into the new plan.
  2. You can keep both schemes separate.

You should compare both schemes before making any decisions as you want the best performance and lowest administrative costs available to you.

Consolidating Your Pension

Consolidating your pension is when you move all, or most, of your pensions into one plan. If you have worked for many different employers, or been self-employed as well as working for a company, consolidating your pension might make things easier. Not only does this make your pension easier to track and follow updates on, but you could also optimise the growth of your pension and consequently save more money for retirement.

If you are unaware of which pension plans you are enrolled in or have access to, don’t wait until your money is lost – make the most of that extra hour and get in touch with one of our advisers or have a look at our free guides on pensions and planning.

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