The era of a job for life is long over. We were once expected to spend our whole career working for one company, working up through the ranks and having a good pension at the end of it but this is clearly not the case any longer with some of the latest figures showing that average workers have 11 different jobs during their life.
The main reasons reported as to why we change jobs include career progression, relocations, redundancies, change of direction and most common of all, better-paid jobs with more attractive benefit systems.
As we move on from one job to the next, we often completely forget about perhaps the most important thing – our pension pot! The government expects that we will soon be flooded with millions of stranded pension pots. Some of us will simply lose track of what, where and when and others won’t really think about it until they hit retirement age and panic.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) estimates that more than 1.6 million pension pots worth £19.4bn are already “lost.” This is the equivalent of £13,000 per plan.
You won’t be able to plan for your retirement properly until you figure out how much income you’ll get from all pensions, including workplace, personal and state pensions. Here are a few tips on how to find any lost pots, and importantly, what to do once you’ve managed to track them down.
Dig up some old statements
Provided you haven’t moved address, you should be receiving pension annual statements – every pension provider is obliged to send them to scheme members. We advise you to review yours each year and keep them safe.
Contact old employers or pension providers
If you know who your lost pension provider was, you can either contact them directly or try to track it down by contacting your old employer.
You’ll be asked some security questions, and it’s a good idea to gather as much information prior to the call as you can. Dig out your NI number, how long you were at the company, the rough date when you estimate the plan was set up.
Use the government’s pensions tracing service
Until recently, you would have to keep track of your own pension you built up with different employers. The new gov pensions dashboard allows you to track down your past employer’s pension schemes giving you the contact details you need to find your old pension.
Work out if it’s worth putting the pension pots together
This is perhaps the most important step here. What’s next? Is it worth combing the pension pots together? Yes, this will reduce the amount of admin going forward and should mean that because all the money is in one place, it is easier to actually keep a tab on them. We recommend that you always take independent financial advice when considering whether to move or consolidate any pension.
You need to do your homework!
LowerMyCharges are independent financial advisors. We are fully transparent, providing information on our charges and the impact they have on your fund performance and financial goals.
Our founders, Ian Brewer and Peter Deane, are experienced financial services professionals. After years in the industry, they have recognised that financial advice isn’t always easy to access, isn’t easy to understand and the costs can be confusing, unclear and hard to compare.
Call us on 0800 1404542 to see how we can help you secure a better financial future.