Have you misplaced or lost an old pension? Discover how to find it here

We recommend that you regularly check your pension’s performance and charges. However, reviewing it can be challenging if you don’t have your pension information readily at hand.

It is easy to lose track of workplace pensions, particularly if you have moved employers several times or a long time previously. When you change employers, your pension becomes inactive, so you stop paying into it.

This brief article aims to inform you how to track down misplaced or forgotten pension plans. It also gives you a few options to maximise your investments for your retirement.

How to track down your pension?

Losing track of your old workplace pensions is not the end of the world. There is an easy way to search for them online via the gov.uk website. The government pension tracking service is relatively straightforward to use, and all you need are some basic employment details to start searching.

Of course, you may find dealing with pensions slightly dull or complex. Therefore, you might want to use an independent financial advisor to assist you in tracking down your old pension plans. As well as tracking them down, a financial advisor can assess their current value and compare your pensions to similar products available on the market, check out Portafina. 

What are your pensions worth?

If you stopped contributing to the old workplace pension, it’s unlikely to have had any growth since you stopped paying into it. However, you still may have a substantial amount of money in your pots. Therefore, you need to understand what your pensions are worth.

When you know their value, you can assess each pension against what is currently available in the market. However, you should not simply go on by financial value, as some pensions have more beneficial features than others.

Also, you should consider the charges you pay on your pensions. For instance, older pensions tend to have higher costs, even though they’re likely to perform less well than their modern equivalents.

An independent FCA-regulated financial advisor can help you assess your pensions regarding their monetary value and features. When they’ve done this, you’ll be in a better position to decide what to do with your old pensions; combine them, transfer them, or keep them as they are.

Transferring your pension funds.

As mentioned above, one of your options is to transfer or switch your funds to a new pension scheme. You might want to do this if you pay high charges on your existing plans. 

Transferring may also be a suitable option if you want to access certain features that your existing plan does not offer. For instance, your current scheme might not offer you pension release. This feature was part of regulations in 2015 that enable people to access pension funds from 55 — more on this below.

Indeed, these are significant decisions to make, and you may not feel comfortable making them on your own. Therefore, using the services of an FCA-regulated financial advisor might be your best option. They can guide you through the process, determining your best options based on your financial situation and aspirations.

Pension release.

In 2015 the government issued new regulations enabling pension holders to access the funds from 55. This process is referred to as pension release.

When you reach 55, you can now take 25% of your pension fund as a tax-free lump sum. You then have the option of taking the remainder of your funds as taxable lump sums or leaving your funds invested to provide an income.

Although the idea of a significant cash boost may seem appealing, Taking too much as a lump sum might leave you short of income when you come to retire. It will also have an impact on your tax situation.

Not all pension plans offer pension release. A financial advisor can assist you in assessing your pensions features and help you make the right decision about what to do with your plans.

Restarting contributions to all pensions.

You may be able to restart contributions to old pension schemes. However, it depends upon the terms of the pension when you first took it out. Also, restarting contributions may not be your best option, as there may be better products on the market. Once again, an independent FCA-regulated financial advisor can assist you with this aspect of your pensions.

Author Profile

Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

Email Adam@MarkMeets.com

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