29th October was National Pension Tracing Day in the UK. It serves as a reminder to ensure that you aren’t losing out on any benefits you are entitled to due to lost pensions.
Losing a UK pension: the stats
Retirement planning is possibly the most important aspect of financial planning and every pound you save is important, especially when faced with a cost of living crisis.
Losing a pension may sound careless but it’s easy to lose track in the current employment landscape when jobs for life are largely a thing of the past and the average British worker changes job every five years.
As many as 1 in 20 Brits have a pension that they didn’t know they had. And according to a 2022 study by the Pensions Policy Institute, sponsored by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the value of lost pension pots is estimated at an astounding £26.6 billion.
National Pension Tracing Day
National Pension Tracing Day (29th October 2023) serves as a reminder of the importance of keeping track of your pensions.
UK citizens living in Asia are just as likely as UK residents to have lost track of accrued pension benefits back home. In fact, with the upheaval of moving halfway across the world, perhaps they are more likely to have lost pensions.
Why finding lost UK pensions matters
It would be crazy not to receive the maximum retirement income you are entitled to. Private pensions are valuable assets that can significantly contribute to your financial security in retirement and unclaimed pensions can accumulate significant sums over the years, even if you don’t continue contributing to them.
For example, let’s say you paid £10,000 into a pension scheme in your twenties but changed job at 30 and didn’t touch that pension until you reached retirement at 65. The money would still earn significant interest over that 35-year period. With capital growth of 5%, your £10,000 investment would increase by more than five times, to £57,337. That would be a welcome addition to any pension pot and certainly not a sum any sane person would want to lose!
How to find lost UK pensions
- Contact former employers
If you’ve had multiple jobs in the UK, it’s possible you have multiple pensions. Begin by reaching out to your former employers to inquire about any pensions you may have with them. They can provide valuable information on your pension plans and their current status.
- Use the UK government’s Pension Tracing Service
The UK government provides a Pension Tracing Service that can help you locate any lost or unclaimed pensions. You can access this service online, and it will provide you with contact information for your pension providers.
- Check with known pension providers
If you have information about the pension provider but have lost contact, get in touch with the provider directly. They can assist you in tracking down your pension and provide details on its current value.
- Seek professional help
Sometimes, tracking down lost pensions can be complex, especially if you’ve changed addresses or have limited information. In such cases, your financial adviser or a pension tracing specialist may be able to help you navigate the process.
Check out the National Pension Tracing Day video here for more information.
What to do with lost pensions
Once you’ve tracked down any lost pensions, you may wish to consolidate your different pension pots to simplify your affairs and/or maximise your return between now and retirement.
As an expatriate, you will have access to a wide range of investment options. Why not make an appointment for a chat with one of our knowledgeable financial advisers who can advise on the best way forward for you to optimise your retirement savings?
A leading provider of expat financial services and wealth management services across Asia.