Tips for tracing old pensions

If you changed jobs several times over the course of your career, you might have a pension with more than one employer or provider.

To help ensure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to, it’s important to track down all the different pension schemes you’ve paid in to.

According to Government statistics there’s more than £400 million of unclaimed pension savings in the UK.

Make sure you claim what’s rightfully yours with our tips for tracing old pensions.

Check your statements

The first port of call should be to check old statements to get a better handle of your various pension pots. A statement should be sent to you each year. If you aren’t receiving any statements but know the pension provider or know you have a workplace pension, then try contacting the pension provider directly or the HR department of your former employer.

Contacting your personal pension provider

If you know who the pension provider is, you can contact them and trace your pension details directly. They’ll need a few details from you; your national insurance number, date of birth, as well as details about your plan number and when the pension was set up, if you have them. Ask for a thorough overview of your pension, including the value of the pot and if there is a nominated recipient for death benefits.

Contacting your former employer

If you have a workplace pension or don’t know the details of the pension provided through your employer, then contact your former employer directly. They will need your national insurance number, and the details of when you started and stopped working for the employer.

Use the Pensions Tracing Service

The Government also offers a Pensions Tracing Service to help you track down any lost pension benefits. If you are using this service, be very careful to only use the official Government website – doing a web search will return dozens of results for services which may charge you, or worse, scam you out of money. Check to ensure you’re on the Government website before you proceed.

Try the Unclaimed Asset Register

There are paid services that can also help you track down old pensions, shares and insurance policies. For a £25 fee, the Unclaimed Asset Register will do a search of millions of records to help you track down the details.

Reading further

If you’re interested in reading further about tracing lost pensions, there are several websites that offer good information, including:

  • The Pensions Advisory Service offers resources to help understand how to handle lost pensions.
  • The Money Advice Service has excellent resources – including templates to help you write a pension-tracing letter to a former employer or pension provider.
  • AgeUK offers useful resources to help you find out more about pension schemes and the options available to you.
The contents of this article are for reference purposes only and do not constitute financial or legal advice. Independent financial or legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific matter. Articles are published by us without any knowledge or notice of the circumstances in which you or anyone else may use or rely on articles or any copy of the information, guidance or documents obtained from articles. We operate and publish articles without undertaking or accepting any duty of care or responsibility for articles or their contents, services or facilities. You undertake to rely on them entirely at your own risk, and without recourse to us. No assurance of the quality of articles is given or undertaken (whether as to the accuracy, completeness, fitness for any purpose, conformance to any description or sample, or otherwise), or as to the timeliness of the publication.
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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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