With the average person having several job changes throughout their working life, it can be easy to lose track of pensions that might have been acquired along the way. The introduction of auto-enrolment in 2012 has meant that many people may have been automatically enrolled in a workplace pension scheme with little to no effort required, making it very easy to lose track of what pension existed and when.
It may be the case that you have forgotten details of a pension, for example through merging or closure of the scheme, or perhaps you simply aren’t sure if you paid into a pension at certain points in time. Every pension, no matter how small or large, means more money in later life, so it is worth investigating whether you have any lost pensions waiting to be rediscovered.
Whether or not you have a pension with a previous employer can depend on the dates of employment, for example if it was before 1975, your pension was most likely refunded. If it was in recent years, following the introduction of auto-enrolment, it may be more likely that you would have a pension left behind. Most schemes you are enrolled in will contact you on an annual basis to let you know the value of your pension, however, out-of-date details such as previous home addresses or email addresses may mean they have lost contact with you and can’t keep up the regular communication.
If you have details of a previous pension provider, the first step is to contact them as they will have a record of your details on their systems. The more details you give them about your lost pension, the easier it will be to trace.
If you believe you may have had a pension with an ex-employer but don’t have any details of the pension, the best way to find out what you are entitled to is to contact the employer directly and provide them with the details of your employment. They will be able to let you know who the pension provider was during your period of employment.
If you need further help, you can contact the Pension Tracing Service on 0800 731 0193 or visit their website. The Pension Tracing Service is a free government service which searches a database of more than 200,000 workplace and personal pension schemes.
MoneyHelper.org.uk contains further helpful information on recovering lost pensions. Visit Money Helper for helpful tips.