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Billion in lost pensions could alleviate cost-of-living strain hitting savers over 55

An estimated one in 20 people are thought to have mislaid or forgotten a pension which averages £9,500 – money which could cushion the impact of rising prices, if they are 55 or older.

As the value of nearly three million pension pots lost or overlooked has risen to almost £27 billion, National Pension Tracing Day enters its third year as the UK’s cost-of-living crisis bites hard.

An estimated one in 20 people are thought to have mislaid or forgotten a pension which averages £9,500 – money which could cushion the impact of rising prices, if they are 55 or older.

The amount in pots gathering dust has gone up by over a third since 2018, when it was £19bn[i], according to research carried out last year. The cross-industry campaign group behind National Pension Tracing Day on Sunday 29 October 2023, is urging everyone to join the #GreatPensionTreasureHunt and check if they have savings they didn’t know about.

Created by Punter Southall, the campaign’s founding sponsors are Aegon, Legal & General, Standard Life and Scottish Widows.  Aviva, Hargreaves Lansdown, Royal London, and Smart Pension joined the cause in 2022 and The People’s Pension is supporting the campaign this year.

Punter Southall’s Alan Morahan brought these competing businesses together to back the effort to reunite people with pensions they may have lost contact with often as a result of moving house or changing jobs.

Alan Morahan said: “The pensions industry has always spent time and effort helping people trace lost pensions but having a dedicated day in the calendar and clear guidelines, will make it simple for people to do it themselves.

“We all lead busy lives but it’s easier than ever to uncover what you may have forgotten about, which could be worth thousands of pounds. In a few clicks or a phone call, you could be better off than you think. Hard times mean making every penny a prisoner so if you’re 55 or over, this could be very welcome or even a lifeline. If you’re younger, isn’t it a good feeling to know that you have more put aside than you thought and you can build on it?”

National Pension Tracing Day: Top Tracing Tips 

  1. List all the places where you have worked. Old CVs, payslips, P45s or P60s may help you.
  2. Look through your paperwork and see if you have pension statements for all your old employers.You should also check your contact details are up to date on all your pension statements.
  3. Check if there are any gaps where you don’t have a pension statement for an employer. Use the Government’s Pension Tracing Service to find the contact details of their pension scheme. If you can’t find them, that may be because your old employer was taken over. You can find out if they were by searching on Companies House or the Government’s Charity Register. You may also need to get in touch with your old employer or colleagues to find the provider’s name if your employer used a ‘group personal pension’.
  4. Once you have the contact details of your old employer’s pension scheme, get in touch, and see if you have a pension with them.You’ll need your National Insurance number to prove that it’s you contacting them. You should also check that you didn’t transfer out to another pension.
  5. Ask how much your pension is worth and get an up-to-date statement. You should also give the provider your contact details so you can keep in touch and ask if you can register online with them to easily access your pension information.
  6. Share online what you found on the Great Pension Treasure Hunt!Use the hashtags #NationalPensionTracingDay #GreatPensionTreasureHunt

Guidance and advice from Punter Southall*

For employers, Aspire to Retire and Pension Potential demonstrate how we support them to empower their staff to plan their pensions.

And National Pension Tracing Day came into being because we believe there’s always more to be done to help people prepare for tomorrow.


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