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Job-swapping means one in four Brits have ‘lost’ pension

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The trend for people to change jobs regularly throughout their working lives means millions of Brits are losing track of pension pots, says Age UK.

A report by the charity says that a shift in working cultures and confusion around retirement planning is resulting in a pension ‘black hole’, with almost a quarter of UK adults stating they have lost track of at least one pension scheme.

Nearly a third said they would try to trace a pension if they realised they had lost track of it. However, people are unsure about how and where to start hunting these pensions down.

One in five said they had lost their pension paperwork, while 10% blamed the fact that they’ve moved jobs too many times to keep track of their pensions.

Lucy Harmer, head of services at Age UK, said: “It’s really important we all set aside time to keep on top of our personal admin, such as organising paperwork and keeping details of any financial products safe and secure.

“This is especially crucial for pensions as it may be some years down the line until they need to be accessed.

“With the number of jobs we have over a lifetime increasing, it’s likely that people will accumulate several small pension pots. In many cases these bring a less fruitful income in later life than one large pension pot.”

According to Age UK, measures are being taken by the Government to account for smaller pension pots likely to be created under automatic enrolment, but these will not account for existing pots that people may already have.

The charity is strongly advising people to think early on about the way they plan their retirement and the kind of lifestyle they would like to enjoy in retirement, and to start putting money away for retirement.

Tips from Age UK on finding a lost pension:

  • Collect as much information about your previous employer as possible including names, the type of business it ran, previous addresses and scheme dates
  • Search for any paperwork that you may have received with the pension
  • Type of pension – try to remember if it was a workplace or personal pension
  • Call the Pension Tracing Service which can help to track down your lost pension on 0845 600 2537.