Keeping track of your pension, especially with multiple pension pots, takes work. You may have contributed to multiple workplace pensions if you worked different jobs throughout your professional career. You may also lose track of one or more of your pensions for reasons such as having shifted to a new location or not receiving pension statements. That said, you can find your lost pension.
Finding a lost pension can be challenging, particularly if the pension scheme has been renamed, closed, or merged with another scheme.
Let's understand why finding your lost pension(s) is essential and how you can do it.
Why Finding Your Lost Pension Is Necessary?
Given that you can only contribute a little to your pension, you must track and find your unclaimed and old pensions and consolidate them. Former employers and pension providers must send annual pension statements detailing the expected income you could receive from your pension pot after you retire.
However, it's time to find the lost pension if you stopped receiving pension statements, switched jobs, or opted out of SERPS (state-earnings-related scheme). Losing your pension can dent your financial freedom in later life.
Also, you will no longer be eligible if you have not claimed your pension for six years after your retirement. This implies you may end up losing your unclaimed pension.
How to Find Lost Pension?
There are many different ways to find a lost pension. The following are the main routes you can opt for to track your lost pension.
1. Check Your Old Paperwork
Most pension schemes send yearly statements. These statements include the estimated income you will get at the time of your retirement. Check whether you have any old paperwork, as this would contain details such as the employer's name, the name of the pension scheme, or details related to the provider/administrator of the pension scheme. If you are not receiving the pension statements because you have changed your residence, contact your former employer, the pension tracing services, or the pension provider.
2. Contact the Pension Provider
If you know your pension provider, you can contact them directly. Ensure that you give them as many details as possible. You must provide details such as your date of birth, plan number, when your pension was set up, and national insurance number.
Also, when you contact your pension provider, you should ask the following questions to get an overview of your pension amount.
- What is the present value of your pension pot?
- How much money has been contributed to the pension fund?
- What are the fees for managing the pension fund?
- Has a beneficiary been selected to receive the benefits in case of the death of the pensioner?
- What is the estimated amount of income you will receive at the retirement date?
- Are there particular features, such as a guaranteed minimum pension or annuity rate?
- What will be the death benefits, that is, how much will be received by the beneficiary in the event of your demise?
- If you decide to transfer your pension pot, what will be the charges?
- How is the pension presently invested, and what options are available to change it?
3. Contact the Former Employer
If you want to find a lost pension scheme that your former employer arranged, you must contact your former employer. Nevertheless, if the employer has given access to a stakeholder/personal scheme, it is advisable to contact the pension provider if you have their contact details.
However, if you need to know your pension provider's details, you can ask your former employer.
You must provide details such as your national insurance number, the date you quit your job with the former employer, the date you started your new employment, and the entry and exit date of your pension scheme.
In addition, ask the following questions.
- What type of pension plan is it? For instance, whether it is a defined contribution plan or a defined benefit
- If it is not a defined benefit scheme, which pension provider are the funds with?
4. Pension Tracing Services
If you cannot find a lost pension in the above two ways, you can opt for the government's Pension Tracing Services. This is a free service, particularly if you need help finding your former employer's contact details or are unsure who your pension provider is.
You can contact the pension tracing service by phone or using their online directory to get their contact details.
Find Lost Pension with NI Number
The national insurance (NI) number is a vital detail that is extremely useful when finding your lost pension. If you want to find a lost pension with an NI number, you can contact HMRC and provide the details you would provide, as mentioned previously, to locate SERPS.
To find out who your scheme administrator is and whom you must contact to retrieve your lost pension, contact your former employer and provide your NI number.
In addition, provide information about when you left the organisation. This will help your former employer tell you who the pension scheme administrator is so you can contact them.
How Can Unicorn Accountants Help You?
In conclusion, finding your lost pension is vital to receiving your retirement income. London's accountants can help trace your old pension using their financial expertise and industry knowledge.
Unicorn Accountants can ensure that you have a secure retirement life. Contact us if you have multiple pension pots yet to be reviewed recently. We can advise you on the suitability of your multiple pension pots based on your risk tolerance and retirement goals.