Pension Dashboard  

One in eight have 'forgotten' pension pot

One in eight have 'forgotten' pension pot

One in eight people in the UK believe they have at least one pension pot they have forgotten about, a survey by Aviva has revealed.

The survey of almost 10,000 people found 18 per cent of respondents admitted they had a pension pot they had forgotten about.

Of those, 77 per cent believed they had one forgotten pot, 17 per cent said they had two, and 6 per cent believed they had three or more forgotten pots.

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In May the government revealed there was approximately £400m in unclaimed pension savings.

At the same time another Aviva-commissioned report found 59 per cent of adults in the UK were worried about not having enough money to last them in retirement.

The survey comes ahead of plans to launch a "pensions dashboard", a government-supported, though voluntary, initiative that aims to link all pension schemes to a dashboard allowing members to view all their pots in one place.

A small group of life companies, auto-enrolment providers and government agencies, including Aviva, have taken the lead in developing the dashboard, with a prototype due to be launched in the first half of 2017.

Andy Curran, managing director, corporate and business solutions at Aviva, said the dashboard was necessary in an age where people are continually switching employers.

He said: “It’s unsurprising that so many people have pensions they have forgotten about. The ‘job for life’ is now a distant memory with people much more likely to change employer on a regular basis.

"With auto-enrolment doing such a great job of getting more people saving for retirement, we are likely to see the number of pension pots that people hold increase further as each time a person gets a new job they get a new workplace pension."

One of the purposes of the dashboard is to make it easier to consolidate various pensions into one pot. Mr Curran said consolidation would save members money by ensuring they pay administration fees to only one provider.

But he stressed that consolidation was not always the best idea, as some pension schemes offer superior benefits to others. 

"Having access to an online tool that shows all your pensions in one place should help savers to be more engaged with their pensions and see what kind of retirement they may achieve.”

In May, the government launched an online service helping people find the contact details of the schemes they believe hold their forgotten pots.

But unlike the dashboard, the government service does not itself allow members to find out whether they have a pension, or what its value is.

james.fernyhough@ft.com