People who have lost touch with workplace pension schemes from previous employers, as well as personal schemes, are being urged to track them down to ensure they receive all of their entitlements in retirement.
More than 350,000 people have used the free Pension Tracing Service since it was set up in 2005 by the Department for Work and Pensions.
A recent survey of customers shows that around one in five found a lost pension after using the service. This resulted in average weekly payments of £16 or an average lump sum of £1,900, with some people receiving both a weekly payment and a lump sum. Five per cent of these people received weekly payments of more than £100 and seven per cent received a lump sum in excess of £20,000.
Of those surveyed, 68 per cent cited moving on from an employer as the reason for losing track of a pension. Other reasons included moving house, employers changing name or closing down and simply losing the paperwork.
Pensions Minister Steve Webb said:
People need to make sure they’re claiming everything they’re entitled to in retirement. If you think you may have had a pension in a previous job or you once paid into a personal scheme that you had forgotten about, then the Pension Tracing Service may be able to help you to recover the money you invested.
The Pension Tracing Service helps individuals to find occupational and personal pensions that they have lost track of. It uses a database containing information on more than 200,000 pension schemes. The service provides contact details of the potential scheme administrator to enable customers to make subsequent enquiries.
To find out if the Pension Tracing Service could help you visit http://www.direct.gov.uk/pensions or call 0845 600 2537 (textphone 0845 300 0169). Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.00pm.
Notes to Editor:
- Statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions
- The Pension Tracing Service received 82,587 requests in 2009/10
- DWP surveyed 2,001 users of the Pension Tracing Service