A million use free pension tracing tool: how to find your retirement income

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The government’s free Pensions Tracing Service has been used more than a million times since its launch last year.

The Government’s free Pension Tracing Service has been used more than a million times since it launched in May 2016, according to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The service lists more than 320,000 pension scheme administrators and helps track down lost or forgotten pension pots with the name of an employer or pension provider.

While it doesn’t hold information on whether you hold a pension or the pot amount, the service lists contact details for users to approach their previous employer or pension provider directly to find out more.

When the service was launched, experts estimated UK pension savings worth £400m were unclaimed and with the average worker having 11 jobs over their lifetime, it’s easy to lose track.

To use the service, visit the government’s Find pension contact details or call 0345 6002 537, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

What about Defined Benefit or personal pensions?

If you’ve lost touch with a Defined Benefit (DB or final salary) scheme and you’re missing out on pension income, the provider will normally take this into account by increasing payments once you trace it.

For personal pension savings you can contact the Pension Tracing Service or you can go through the Pensions Advisory Service which helps guide you through what to do. You’ll need to give as much information as possible regarding the scheme, dates of employment and copies of any certificates you still have.

The Pensions Dashboard

The government has previously confirmed the pensions industry would launch a Pensions Dashboard by 2019 allowing workers to see all their pensions in once place.

This week, the Work and Pensions Secretary, David Gauke, said of the Pensions Dashboard: “We believe this tool has genuine potential for making our financial lives much simpler.

“The dashboard presents a clear picture of all a person’s pension entitlement in one secure online location, and will make it easier for savers to plan ahead.

“A cross-section of the industry worked with us to develop the working prototype. The successful demonstration of the prototype last April showed the feasibility of providing information from different pensions schemes in one place, and was met with enthusiasm by technology start-ups, financial advisors and the media.

“Such a tool would encourage people to properly consider their retirement arrangements earlier in their working lives, and could help savers reconnect with an estimated £400 million in lost pensions accruement – something which we’d all like to encourage.”

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