PensionsMay 30 2018

Millions may have 'lost' their pension

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Millions may have 'lost' their pension

Millions of people may have lost track of their pension, according to research from Aegon.

A survey of 909 adults found 64 per cent of people had multiple pension pots and some 22 per cent of them had lost track of one or all of them.

Almost a third of people didn't know the total value of their pension savings.

Aegon said the proportion of people who had lost track of a pension had increased and it could mean more than 7m people had misplaced some of their retirement savings

It is estimated UK workers will typically have 11 jobs over the course of their working life, making it difficult to keep tabs on their savings and increasing the likelihood of losing track of a pension.

Despite that, more people are clued up on how much they have saved for retirement, with the proportion of people who didn't know the value of their pension falling from 39 per cent two years ago to 30 per cent today.

Kate Smith, Aegon head of pensions, said: "It’s very hard to plan for retirement without a full view of your savings and an understand of what your state pension entitlement is likely to be. Without the bigger picture, people might be setting themselves up for a retirement without a clear idea of what their savings are worth."

While 27 per cent of people surveyed said they would be interested in combining all of their pension pots, some 48 per cent were reluctant to put all of their eggs into one basket and 27 per cent didn’t want to pay for a financial adviser to arrange this.

Andy James, head of retirement planning at Tilney, said: "It is all too easy to lose track of a pension, and tracking down a missing pot can be problematic where a previous employed has moved, gone bust or re-branded."

He said savers looking to track down lost pensions can use the Government’s Pension Tracing Service to try and locate any missing workplace schemes.

But Mr James added: "Tracking down missing plans is only the first step; existing plans need to be reviewed to make sure the investment approach is suitable and the returns being delivered are up to scratch.

"However, it is vital to ensure you will not incur penalties or lost benefits before transferring a pension so it is important to take professional financial advice."