- An estimated £19 billion is sitting in lost pension pots – averaging £13,000 each
- 10,000 people in the UK try to trace lost pensions each month but don’t know where to begin
- MoneyHelper’s free government-backed pensions service is your first point of call
This Sunday is National Pensions Tracing Day, a new initiative in the UK to make people aware of the pensions they might have forgotten about. When the UK turns back the clocks as daylight savings time comes to an end, National Pensions Tracing Day organisers and the Money and Pensions Service are urging people to use this extra hour gained to trace any lost pensions.
An estimated £19.4 billion unclaimed pensions pots remain in the UK, averaging at £13,000 each1. Simultaneously, each month in the UK, more than 10,000 people try to track down their lost pensions pots but don’t know where to begin2.
MoneyHelper, by the Money and Pension Service, offers free, government-backed guidance online and over the phone about all pensions matters – including how to start tracing your different pension pots. You can also speak to a MoneyHelper pensions expert free-of-charge on 0800 011 3797 about any of your pensions questions, or use our webchat, online form or WhatsApp.
Charlotte Jackson, Head of Guidance Services and Customer Protection Strategy at the Money and Pensions Service, said:
“Everyone should look forward to retiring comfortably. However, with the average person having 11 jobs in their lifetime, it’s easy to lose track of the pensions you have had. Tracking down lost pensions may help you fund the retirement you want and can be well worth the time and effort.
“At our free-of-charge MoneyHelper helpline, we get more than 400 calls each month from people who are trying to trace lost pensions but don’t know where to begin. Our qualified and impartial pensions experts are able to talk them through the tracing process over the phone from start to finish, step-by-step, to help them track down any pensions savings that is rightfully theirs. Sometimes people are pleasantly surprised with what they find!”
MoneyHelper.org.uk has seen more than 1 million visits to its online pensions guidance services since it launched on 30 June 2021 and the website’s ‘Pensions and Retirement’ pages have seen the highest levels of engagement, suggesting these free resources are valued by those seeking the information.
Jason* who recently used MoneyHelper’s pension helpline to track down his lost pension said:
“I always thought that no matter what job you’re in, that your pensions followed you around. I just wanted to check if my pension would cover me for my funeral expenses. Do I need to hunt down all the jobs I had?”
After MoneyHelper’s pensions expert, Martin Bell, explained that it’s a one-off exercise and how to go about tracing each pension, the customer said: “You’ve made my day, and you’ve been straight with me, I really appreciate and value what you’ve done. If I could, I would put my hand down the phone and shake your hand!”
Martin Bell, pensions expert at the Money and Pensions Service provides the following top 5 tips to understand your pensions position, track down lost pensions and boost your savings:
- “Track down your pension pots and check their value. If you think you have lost a workplace pension, start by contacting your former employer. If you can’t find their details, you can contact the government’s Pensions Tracing Service or call MoneyHelper’s pensions helpline free of charge on 0800 011 3797.
- Once you have tracked down your pots, you can check your statements or ask your scheme or provider for an up-to-date valuation of how much you have saved.
- Think about your living costs in retirement. Draw up a budget for your expected income and spending as early as possible to give yourself a clearer picture of how much you might need – and don’t forget the cost of the nice things you want to do more of when you retire.
- You can also check your projected retirement income using the MoneyHelper Pensions Calculator.
- Boost your pension savings if you find a shortfall. If you can afford to, consider increasing your regular pension contributions, or if you get a pay-rise or bonus then you could put that tow
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Notes to editors
2. Based on the volume of Google searches for the terms ‘pension tracing service’, pension tracing service UK’ and ‘pension tracing’ for a monthly average over a rolling 12-month period, 2020-21.
*Jason is not the person’s real name, due to MaPS’ customer protection policy.
About National Pensions Tracing Day
National Pensions Tracing Day in the UK was founded by Punter Southall Aspire with the support of Aegon, Legal & General, Standard Life and Scottish Widows. For more information visit www.nationalpensiontracingday.co.uk.
About the Money and Pensions Service
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) is here to ensure every person feels more in control of their finances throughout their lives: from pocket money to pensions. When they are, communities are healthier, businesses are more prosperous, the economy benefits and individuals feel better off. MaPS delivers free and impartial money and pensions guidance to the public through MoneyHelper, which recently brought together legacy services the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.
MaPS is working to make sure the whole of the UK understands that financial, physical and mental health are all deeply connected. MaPS’ role is to connect organisations with the shared purpose of achieving the five goals set out in the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing.
MaPS supports innovation so that everyone can use the most effective methods to help people feel more in control of their money, targeted to those most in need and inclusive of people from all backgrounds. MaPS is an arm’s-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).