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76% have no idea of pension value

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Written by:
04/09/2012
More than three quarters of employees have no idea how much their company pension pots are worth, with just 24% claiming they know the precise value of the combined contributions they have built up over the years.

According to research carried out by Prudential, 16% of workers have lost track of their pension funds altogether when changing jobs, with 81% failing to actively transfer their pension funds over to a new employer.

The research revealed that younger employees are most at risk of losing track of their pension contributions as they are more likely to switch jobs more frequently than their older counterparts. Workers between the ages of 18 and 34 have on average had three full time jobs, compared with the over-55s who have had an average of five jobs in their whole working lives.

Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, said:

“Saving into a pension today is an important step in the right direction for workers, to help ensure a comfortable retirement.

“It is essential for people to understand what type and level of savings they have built up in the past. They must make sure that their previous employers have their most up-to-date personal details and are sending them annual pension statements, so they can keep themselves properly informed.

“Keeping track of pension savings at every age is important but it is even more crucial for younger workers, who are likely to switch jobs more often, to actively manage this process. It’s also important to consider the benefits of transferring previous pension savings into a new employer’s scheme, although seeking advice before making such a big decision is a must.

“For those who have lost track of their previous company pension pots, the Pensions Tracing Service (www.direct.gov.uk/pensiontracing/) should be able to help.”

Of whose who do know the value of their combined pension pots, the average fund built up is £110,207. But there is a huge gender gap, with men estimating they have built up an average of £154,094, while women estimate an average of £50,512.

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