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Have you forgotten one of your pensions?

If you’ve switched jobs over the years, you’ve probably paid into more than one pension scheme – and that could easily mean you’ve lost track of how many pensions you actually have.

You won’t be alone. One in eight people with a pension have forgotten about a pot of retirement savings. Aviva found most of these people (77%) have only forgotten one pension, but some people they asked realised they could have two, three or more they’ve lost track of.

In total unclaimed pension pots could add up to a huge £400 million, according to the Department for Work and Pensions, so it’s well worth checking if your cash is part of that total.

How to find a lost pension

If you’re not sure if you have a lost pension, or you simply can’t find the details, there are a few things you can do.

Get in touch with the pension provider

The best way to get an idea of how much money you could have is to get in touch with the pension provider direct - if you can remember its name. Let it know your date of birth, National Insurance number and roughly when you started paying in to get started.

Contact your old employer

Of course, if you have had more than one pension it might be tricky to remember the provider, so you can also get in touch with your employer to get the details. It’ll want to know the dates you worked there, alongside your National Insurance number.

Find out what kind of scheme you paid into and the name of the provider.

Use the Pension Tracing Service

If you really don’t know whether you have a forgotten pension, the Pension Tracing Service will help.  

Enter the name of your employer at  www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details and you’ll be given contact details for whoever runs the pension scheme.

You can also call the service on 0845 6002 537.

You won’t be told if you actually have a pension from your old job or with a certain provider, but at least you can then try the previous two steps. You can also do this for someone else.

What to do if you find a forgotten pension

First up, find out how much has been paid into the pension pot and what the current value is.

If you’re yet to retire ask about any charges you are paying, how it is invested and the likely income you’d get when you retire. Find out too if there are death benefits and if you’ve got anyone named to get the money if you died. Finally ask about charges if you wanted to transfer the pot to another provider.

Armed with this information it’s then worth speaking to a financial advisor about how this pot could fit with your other pensions.

If you’re already retired, you have some extra options. You can buy an annuity, set up an income drawdown, take the money as a lump sum, or a combination of the three. Again, it’s worth getting some advice on the best option for you.

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  • margaret faseku / 2 April

    I think you are just wonderful This site has been very helpful to me as i was completely ignorant of most things contained here
    I cannot help shedding some tears as im typing this cause it was like ive been passing through hell due to ignorance

    Many thanks