If you think you may have lost an old pension, you’re not alone

Research has shown that 1 in 5 people will lose track of at least 1 pension pot in their lifetime1 – meaning many could be missing out on future retirement savings.

But you don’t need to be a super sleuth to track down your lost pension – just follow these simple steps and, with a little detective work, you’ll be able to find it in no time.

1 Findings from our ‘Lost pension pots’ research report carried out by People’s Partnership, provider of The People’s Pension.

What happens to my workplace pension when I leave an employer?

If you’ve worked in more than 1 job, you’ve probably picked up several pensions along the way. If you leave a job where you had a workplace pension, any money left in the pension is yours to use when you reach retirement age.

It’s important to remember that pension scheme values can rise and fall along with the market, and charges on schemes normally continue to be taken after you leave, so the value of the remaining pension may be less than what you paid in.

How do I track down an old pension?

If you think you have an old pension but don’t know where to start looking, here’s a few quick tips to help you search:

  • Start at home – You may well have paperwork stashed away or emails containing information about forgotten pensions.
  • Check your employment history – Old payslips or contracts may contain information about your pension contributions.
  • Speak to your former employers – Your ex-employer will be able to provide details on your pension scheme. You can search on the Companies House website for your previous workplace if you’re having trouble finding them.

The government’s Pension Tracing Service

Maybe you’ve tried the above already but still haven’t had any luck tracking down your old pension.

If that’s the case, you can also try the government’s own pension tracing service to find your lost pension details.

I’ve found my old pension provider or workplace – what do I do now?

It’s a good idea to update any key details with your former pension provider or employer. This will help speed up the process of finding your lost pension. Here’s a handy checklist of things to update.

Details to give your pensions provider:

  • Your name (current and previous if changed)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your address (current and previous if changed)
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Date of when you joined and left the pension scheme (if you know)

Details to give your previous employer:

  • The name of the company you worked for (if it’s changed)
  • The address of the company you worked for (if it’s changed)
  • The date you started and left the company

I’ve found my pension – what should I do now?

That’s great news! Now that you’ve found your pension, you should gather as many details about it as possible – including how much you have in your pot, how it may be invested, and any charges that apply to it. This will help give you a better idea of whether you’re on course to meet your retirement plans. If you’re a member of The People’s Pension, you can easily check your pension using your Online Account.

You might also want to get guidance or advice before deciding what to do next. MoneyHelper has more information and can help answer your pension questions.

You could carry on contributing

With some pension schemes – such as The People’s Pension – you can continue paying into your old pot (you can ask your pension provider to confirm your options for you).

It’s worth considering that you may not receive the same benefits that you had before – such as contributions into your pot from your previous employer. You’ll also continue to be charged a fee by your pension provider to manage your old pension.

You could combine your pensions

If you have more than 1 pension, there’s the option to combine all these together into a single pot. This can help you keep better track of your money and manage it more easily.

You can combine your pensions with The People’s Pension – you just need to provide us with a few details and fill out a quick online form.

More about continuing payments

You can pay more into your pot with The People’s Pension either regularly by Direct Debit or as a one-off payment.

More about combining pensions

If you’re a member of The People’s Pension, you can combine your pots with us by transferring your old pensions.