Failing to claim your pension means you could miss out on valuable retirement income
Keeping track of a pension can be a challenge, especially if you’ve had several schemes during your career or changed employers multiple times. Pension schemes can close, merge or be renamed over time, making it difficult to keep on top of them.
In order to ensure you receive your pension, it’s crucial to trace any lost pensions as soon as possible. Even if you remember the name of your scheme, it could now be known by a different name. Failing to claim your pension means you could miss out on valuable retirement income, so taking steps to track down any missing pensions is essential.
Tracing lost pensions
There are several online tools and services available to help you trace lost pensions, including the government’s Pension Tracing Service. By taking action and tracing your lost pensions, you can ensure that you receive the retirement income you’re entitled to.
Before embarking on a search for a lost pension, it’s important to determine whether you are entitled to a pension from the scheme in question. Depending on when you were a member of the scheme and the rules surrounding it, you may not automatically be entitled to a pension.
For example, if you left your employer before April 1975, it’s likely that you had your contributions refunded, and you may not be entitled to any pension benefits from the scheme.
If you left your employer between April 1975 and April 1988 and completed at least five years’ service by the time you left, a pension may have been kept for you.
If you left after April 1988 and had completed at least two years’ service, you might be entitled to a pension. However, if you left with less than the minimum years of service required, you may have had your contributions refunded.
It’s best to contact the individual scheme or use the Pension Tracing Service to determine whether you have a pension entitlement.
If you’re looking to track down a personal or workplace pension, the first step is to check for any old paperwork that may contain the name of your employer or pension scheme, as well as details of the scheme’s administrator or provider.
This will give you a starting point for your search. It’s also worth reviewing any annual statements you may have received, which typically include an estimate of your retirement income based on your pension pot.
If you’re no longer receiving annual statements, it could be because you’ve changed address, in which case you can try contacting the pension provider, your former employer if it was a workplace pension or the Pension Tracing Service.
These organisations may be able to help you track down your lost pension by providing information about the pension scheme, including the name of the provider, the policy number and the estimated value of your pension.
By taking action to locate your lost pension, you can ensure that you receive the retirement income you’re entitled to and avoid missing out on valuable retirement benefits.