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Pension UK: Britons urged to track down lost arrangements – you may find thousands

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Pension savings are the main source of income for many people once they have departed from the workforce. As a result, many Britons will be looking for the best ways to boost their retirement, so as much cash as possible is at their disposal in later life. This can help people to meet retirement goals as well as cover everyday living costs.

There are, however, many people who have lost track of pension arrangements throughout their lifetime, which, if found, could provide an unexpected windfall.

The problem of forgotten pensions is one which is already rife and affects people right across the country.

In fact, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) estimates that more than 1.6million pension pots are currently sitting dormant.

This is worth £19.4billion – the equivalent of some £13,000 per plan.

Many people have campaigned for a pensions dashboard to allow savers to see all their pension savings in one place.

However, recent news has suggested this dashboard will be delayed until 2023, although it was originally intended for 2019.

While savers wait for the dashboard to be developed, they are likely to want to take action.

Tracking down lost pensions can prove a task, but if carefully organised, it may prove lucrative.

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One of the key reasons for losing track of a pension is moving address, as people with pension arrangements can usually expect to receive statements.

In this case, reaching out to certain bodies can help in the tracing process.

The Money Advice Service has explained there are three organisations people can contact, which are:

  • the pension provider
  • if a workplace pension, a former employer
  • The Pension Tracing Service

The first port of call for Britons should be a personal pension provider.

If a person knows which organisation their pension was taken out with, then this could be a simple solution to tracing their arrangement.

However, Britons should also provide as much information as possible to assist matters.

This includes a pension plan number, the date a pension was set up, as well as date of birth and National Insurance number.

Alternatively, for those who are tracing a workplace arrangement, contacting the employer concerned is important.

Similar information should be provided, along with the date a person started working for their employer, as well as when the pension scheme was joined and left.

The Money Advice Service has urged Britons to ask what type of plan they have, as this is likely to affect how money can be accessed and what will be paid out.

Finally, for those who are really struggling to track down a lost pension, perhaps because they have exhausted all other options, the Pension Tracing Service could be a solution.

The impartial service is designed to track down lost pensions by scouring a database with over 200,000 schemes to help Britons find relevant contact details.

It is worth noting, however, that the service will not tell individuals whether they actually have a pension, or what its value is.

To use the service, people will need the name of an employer or pension provider to begin.

The process can be carried out online or via phone, however phone lines are busier than normal due to COVID-19.

However, also due to the ongoing pandemic, Britons cannot currently request contact details by post. 

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