Nearly nine out of 10 UK workers have lost track of one or more of their workplace pensions, and therefore risk that their retirement savings aren’t working as hard as they could be.


Almost half of workers (42%) who have lost track of a pension say that they think between two and five of their various pots are now stranded, according to research carried out by wealth manager Netwealth, with £28,000 the average figure sitting in ‘lost’ pensions. The Pensions Policy Institute claims that there is a staggering £26.6 billion sitting in forgotten pensions, waiting to be claimed.

One of the main reasons that people lose track of pensions is that they have perhaps worked for several different companies over the years, and haven’t been able to stay on top of how all their various pension pots are performing.

If you do have money in a forgotten pension, you could be paying more than necessary in charges, or your money might be invested in assets that aren’t necessarily appropriate for you based on your investment timeframe and attitude to risk, or which are under-performing.
Charlotte Ransom, CEO and Founder of Netwealth, said: “Now more than ever, it is vital that consumers track down any stranded pensions that they have worked hard to earn, and that they act to recover them sooner rather than later to regain control over these important pools of value. Savers need to be protecting and fully maximising the value of their retirement savings, ensuring their assets are working as hard as they could be when it comes to delivering financial returns.”

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If you think you have lost track of a pension, it’s a good idea to write a list of all the companies you’ve worked for, highlighting which you had a pension with. Once you’ve done that, search for any relevant paperwork with contact details, or contact your former employer directly to see if they can reunite you with your savings. Failing that,get in touch with the government’s free Pension Tracing Service to help you find contact details for workplace or personal pensions. You will need the name of your employer or pension provider to use the service.

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Worryingly, even those who do know where all their pensions are often fail to keep a close eye on how they are doing, potentially missing out on opportunities to boost their retirement savings.

Separate research carried out by the People’s Partnership found that nearly one in six retirement savers admit that they have never reviewed their pension, whilst a quarter review them less than once a year.

Kevin Martin, group director of customer services at People’s Partnership, provider of The People’s Pension, said: “There are simple steps that a person can take to ensure they are better prepared for retirement, including signing up for an online pension account, naming a beneficiary, checking your annual statement and ensuring your details are updated so your provider can stay in touch.”

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