- 13th January 2022
- Posted by: thisworksadmin
- Category: Lastest News
Where are my past pensions?
How Do I Locate Them? – Is There an IFA in Warrington who can help me?
Warrington Pension Adviser ‘’Lowndes Alexander Daniel Ltd’’ has during the last 18 months of lockdown helped several new clients track down lost pensions.
With £19.4 billion in contributions waiting to be claimed in the UK, here are some tips on how to find old pensions
On average, people will work for 11 different employers during their lifetimes, which can make it difficult for many to find lost pensions from previous jobs.
The introduction of auto-enrolment, in which eligible employees are automatically enrolled into a company’s scheme, means many more people are now likely to end up having multiple pension pots, and yet still be unable to answer the question, ‘what pensions do I have?’. In fact, many of us don’t even know how to find out if we still have a pension from an old job.
The more old pensions you do have, the easier it is to end up losing one. Tracing pensions from years ago can be a hassle but the good news is that you can easily find lost pensions and combine them into a single modern plan with Lowndes Alexander Daniel IFC LTD.
People are at most risk of having lost a pension if they have:
- Opted out of SERPS (the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme) in 1980s or 1990s
- Changed jobs multiple times
- Moved house often and not updated their pension provider
In fact, according to research by The Association of British Insurers (ABI), only one in 25 people considers telling their pension provider when they move home. It’s estimated that there are about 1.6 million missing pension pots worth £19.4 billion, which averages at around £13,000 per missing pension, so it’s certainly worth looking into.
So here are some tips on how to find your pensions from years ago and combine them into a new personalised plan.
How do I find out if I have a pension from an old job?
If you think you might have had a pension with a previous employer and have lost track of it, get in touch with them. If you no longer have any contact details for them, the Government’s free pension tracing service may be able to help you find them.
Once you have the contact details, you will need to give them the dates when you were employed by them and your NI number and ask if they could check their records to pass on the name of your pension provider and policy number.
You will usually have a much better chance of finding a missing pension pot if you can provide as much information as possible, so make sure you include your full name (and any previous names), your date of birth, and your address.
This will not, however, tell you how much your old pension is currently worth, how it is performing or what pension options you have at 55 (rising to 57 from 2028), so you will need to do a bit of work contacting the pension provider too.
Warrington based Pension Adviser ‘’Lowndes Alexander Daniel Ltd’’ can help with this process.
Can I find a pension with my NI number?
There are usually two ways you can find lost pensions using your NI number.
- Sending it to HMRC to find out if you contracted out of SERPS
- Sending it to a past employer to ask for details of your pension scheme administrator
You will, of course, need to give some other basic personal details, but your NI number is your unique identifier to allow companies and the Government to find old pension contributions. It can be found on your current or previous payslips.
Did I have a SERPS pension?
The State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme was designed by the Government to top up the State Pension. It existed from 1978 to 2002, when it was replaced by the State Second Pension, and both schemes were often known as the additional state pension.
Millions of people who were in occupational pension schemes chose to opt out of SERPS during the 1980s and 1990s. This was known as “contracting out” and instead these people redirected their National Insurance contributions into a personal pension, in the hope that this might provide them with a higher income at retirement than the one they would have received from SERPS.
If you were employed in the private sector between 1987 and 2012, and you think there is a chance you might have a missing SERPS pension, it is well worth checking because a missing pension could make a big difference to your retirement income.
SERPS pension check
You can perform a SERPS pension check by writing to HMRC with your NI number and a few other personal details, including your full name, previous name, address, and date of birth. HMRC will take around 30 days to respond with details of any pension providers you paid into as a result of opting out of SERPS.
You will then need to contact the providers to see how much any pension is worth and whether you can access them.
Combine your pensions
Simply tracking down a pension can be hard enough, let alone checking your plan to see its value, where it is invested, and how much you are paying in pension charges. Plus, you may often then find that you are getting a bad deal, especially with outdated pension schemes.
Once you have located any missing pensions you might want to consider whether your investments will be better in a more modern and flexible pension.
How to find old pensions easily
You can avoid doing the heavy lifting involved in finding your old or lost workplace pensions by getting an expert such as Warrington Pension Adviser ‘’Lowndes Alexander Daniel Ltd’’ Pensions Advice Service to help.
Any unclaimed pensions could be lost forever, so it’s important to take action now!
Simply in the first instance by contacting us on 01925 819156 or 07789376506.
Email [email protected]