Tracking Your Pension
Track down your old workplace pensions
This could prove one of the most lucrative couple of hours you’ll ever have. Get a pen and paper, make a cup of tea and think through every job you have had. Try to get a value for every pension you accumulated.
If there are any unaccounted for, you have two options. If the pension is relatively recent – roughly from the last 20 years – you should be able to get in touch with your former employer to ask for details.
If you left them a while ago, you may have to use the Government’s Pension Tracing Service. This will tell you who controls old pension schemes and their contact details.
Now update your contact details
Once you have found all your old pensions, make sure the providers know where to find you. Only one in 25 people remember to tell their pension provider they have moved home.
This, combined with name changes when people get married or divorced, means that pension pots worth around £19.4billion have gone unclaimed.
Look at all of your pensions together
Part of the appeal of the pensions dashboard is that it should give a snapshot of exactly what pensions you have. If you discover the amount you have won’t meet the lifestyle you hope for in retirement, you can devise a plan to make up the difference.
You can look at all of your pension savings in one place by creating a simple spreadsheet on a computer.
But there are lots of apps that allow you to link up your pensions. Some go a step further than a pensions dashboard would because they allow you to see all your savings, debts and investments in one place.
You could try to consolidate the pots
Once you’ve all of your pensions in one place, you could consider consolidating some – or all – of them. The advantage is that they will be easier to keep track of and you may be able to lower fees.
Angela Lloyd-Read, a chartered financial planner at Connor Broadley Wealth Management, says: ‘Consolidating your pensions could save you money as some providers may reduce charges when pension savings reach a certain level. Moving from a more expensive provider to a cheaper one could save a lot of money over the many years a pension will be invested for.’