A quarter of adults have lost a pension pot, says survey

 

If the pension crisis wasn’t bad enough with millions facing penury in retirement, a new survey published today shows that almost a quarter of adults have actually lost a pension pot.

Age UK has issued a warning about the growing pension black hole resulting from shifting working patterns and confusion around retirement planning.

With the idea of long-term jobs disappearing, young workers aged between 25 and 34 have had as many employers as those aged 65 or older.

And if you’ve already worked for six different companies by your mid-30s, it’s hardly surprising that you may have lost contact with a previous pension plan.

In fact people work for an average 11 employers over the course of their working lives, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Lucy Harmer of Age UK, said: “With the number of jobs we have over a lifetime increasing, it’s likely that people will accumulate several small pension pots. Organising paperwork and keeping details secure is especially crucial for pensions as it may be some years down the line until they need to be accessed.”

However, the charity’s research suggests that nearly half of all missing pensions - 47 per cent - are simply “lost in the mists of time”.

One in 10 people say the fact that they’ve moved jobs too many times has made it impossible to keep track of their pensions while one in five admits to having lost their pension paperwork.

But a lost pension pot doesn’t have to be a disaster. Your details should still be recorded by pension trustees and it’s often simply a question of tracking down old pension schemes and informing them of your current situation and any changed circumstances – if at all – to ensure you are reunited with your lost fund.

With prospects of a prosperous retirement for most of us shrinking fast, assessing how much you have already in various pensions pots is crucial when planning how much you need to save now. “People need to seriously think about planning for retirement and the kind of lifestyle they want, and having up-to-date records of any previous pension savings is important in that,” said Lucy Harmer.

How to track down a lost pension pot

There’s a government section called the Pension Tracing Service that’s part of the Department for Work and Pensions. It holds records of all pensions -  it has a database of some 200,000 different occupational and personal schemes - and can help put you back in touch with lost retirement pots.

However it will need some basic details to track down your records – the more you can supply, the higher chance there is of being successful. Start by racking your memory of the names of companies you worked for and whether you contributed to a pension scheme. If you can supply an address, all the better.

You’ll also need your national insurance number, and records of different addresses you have lived at while working. That’s especially crucial if you had an old personal pension.

If you can dig out any old documents relating to a pension, the Service will be able to tell you its up-to-date contact details.

Go online to www.gov.uk/find-lost-pension or call the service on 0845 6002 537.  You can also write with all your details to Pension Tracing Service, Tyneview Park, Whitley Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE98 1BA.

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

    £16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

    SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

    Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea