Pensioners missing out on £23,000 – but you can claim it back

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A leading online pension provider PensionBee is urging Brits to take stock of their finances following research that shows almost two fifths (37%) think they have a missing pension pot, with one in ten (9%) saying they have lost at least two.

As a result, individuals could be missing out on more than £23,000 in retirement, equaling at least £37 billion in lost or dormant pensions.

To help people get their finances off to good start in 2021 PensionBee has launched “ Do I have a pension? ”, a new online tool to help identify the likelihood of missing pension pots, methods to track them down and tips on how to combine them into one simple online plan.

The survey of 2,000 people reveals that young savers are most likely to have a missing pension pot, with more than three fifths (64%) of 18-34 year olds saying they have already lost track of one, compared to 40% of 40-54 year olds. More than a quarter (27%) also don’t know how many pension pots they have.

The research uncovered an alarming lack of engagement with future finances which could be costly when it comes to planning for retirement. More than four fifths (82%) do not know how much is in their pension pots, with a third (32%) admitting they have never checked the value of their pension at all. A quarter (24%) confess they have ‘no idea’ what their pension will pay out at retirement.

For many, the administrative time and effort needed to keep track of multiple pension pots is considered the main reason for missing savings. A third (29%) of respondents noted that they had lost track of at least one pension pot after changing jobs, and a further 29% had forgotten their online login details. This trend is also apparent in people who track their pension by non-digital means, with over one fifth (22%) of people losing essential paperwork related to their pension.

The findings reflect a growing national trend of ambivalence towards future financial planning, with the Government predicting that there could be as many as 50 million dormant and lost pension pots by 2050.

When asked how they would use an unexpected windfall of £20,000 in their retirement fund, 7% said they would pay for vital health treatments they cannot currently afford. The research also found that 13% would prioritise funding a once in a lifetime trip abroad, 11% would pay off their remaining mortgage, and even 4% would pay off their son/daughter’s mortgages.

Romi Savova, PensionBee’s Founder & CEO, said: “It is very concerning to see so many people losing track of their hard-earned money, especially as they plan for their retirement. Our research has shown that the pandemic has contributed to even more pension pots becoming lost over the past year, with the number of dormant pension pots increasing from 16.3 million in 2019 to over 21.5 million in 2020. If left unclaimed, this will result in millions of people working for more years than they would otherwise need to, before they can afford to comfortably retire.

Romi’s tips on the steps people can take to help track down a lost or forgotten pension pot:

1) Use the “ Do I have a pension? ” tool – Unsure if you even have a pension? Look no further! Our tool will assess how likely you are to have a pension in just a few minutes. Most people are automatically added to their employer’s pension scheme, so chances are you have a few pots out there, if you’ve had more than one job in recent years.

2) Contact your old employers – If you’re unsure if you left a pension behind when you changed jobs, try contacting your old employers to enquire what pension schemes, if any, they had set up during the timeframe you worked there. Go through your CV, from your oldest positions to the most recent, and get in touch with each HR department.

3) Use a pension tracing service – The government has a free database that lists the details of companies and personal pension scheme providers. You can search the Pension Tracing Service to find the names and contact details for your pension providers.

4) Contact your pension provider – You may already know that you have an old pension with a specific provider. If this is the case, you can find their contact details on any old paperwork you may have saved or online. Try giving them a call to confirm whether you are a member of any pension schemes they manage.

5) Consolidate your pensions – If you have several pensions with different providers, it’s a good idea to consolidate them into one new plan. That way you won’t have to worry about losing them in the future and can be assured all your retirement savings are in one place with a clear balance. The days of taking time off work to visit the bank, pay your bills and catch up on life admin are long gone. Now these tasks can be done in a few clicks from an app on your phone, while you’re travelling to work or sitting on the sofa.



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