Legal & General has introduced a service to help people track down lost or forgotten pension pots as well as consolidate them.
L&G Retail Retirement’s tracing service uses basic details to search an extensive database of providers to locate pensions and present them on a dashboard.
The tracing-only service has a one-off fee of £100.
After using the service, savers will have the option to get guidance or speak to a financial adviser; do nothing or to consolidate their pensions into one Legal & General retirement product.
If they choose to consolidate within six months of using the service L&G will refund the fee.
Tracing is free for those choosing to consolidate their pensions with L&G from the outset.
According to data from the Association of British Insurers, there are 1.6m pots unclaimed, worth £19.4bn.
But L&G said it is currently hard for savers to track their pensions as they either have to go it alone, use the government’s online Pension Tracing Service, which requires a degree of knowledge of pension and employment history and relies on customers to contact the providers themselves.
Research from L&G found that, of those who have tried to track down their lost pension through this service, about a third (32 per cent) did not have the right details and 16 per cent found it too complicated.
Emma Byron, managing director of Legal & General Retirement Income, said L&G’s service seeks to “make life simpler” for people who need help locating their pots, without them having to have their old pension statements to hand.
Ms Byron said: “We also recognise that not everyone is ready to make that consolidation decision until they have a better understanding of all their pension savings, which is why we’ve created a ‘stand-alone’ tracing option for customers unsure of their next steps.
“People now have control over their own retirement planning, which is great, but for the many non-advised consumers that means they need simple, low-cost and transparent products.
“Having launched our self-service drawdown product earlier this year, based on the FCA’s investment pathways, we are now continuing to lead on innovation with our tracing and consolidation services.”
L&G’s research, which surveyed 2,008 non-retired adults aged 45-65, found more than half of savers have more than one pension pot but, of those, only 17 per cent have already consolidated.
Ms Byron said: “There are a number of reasons why it can make sense to bring your pension pots together. If you are still saving, it gives you a clear view of the charges you are paying and means you can choose to bring a higher charging pension into one with lower charges.
“You can also clearly see what you have and its worth, to ensure you are on track for the retirement you want.”