Finding lost pension plans is something we are often asked about. This usually arises when we meet a new client and start with an in depth review session.
When clients start talking about previous employers, and we unpick their pay and benefits, there is often a realisation that they paid into a pension, and now it is languishing somewhere, unloved.
Cue frantic searching through drawers, cupboards and files trying to find mention of the old pension plan.
But you don’t need to dash off and start searching for any you have just remembered.
The Government offers a free pension tracing service which you can visit here: https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details. However, you do need the name of your previous employer or the pension provider to access it.
You should also have your National Insurance (NI) number to hand as well as your date of birth and contact details. It is also likely you will be asked for the dates you were employed, so try to find that information too.
The simplest way to handle this is online using the link we have provided above. However, if you prefer, they do also have a telephone number and email address. They are currently not taking postal enquiries, but, in our experience, doing this online is fairly pain free, and the method we would recommend.
There are several paid pension tracing services available, but we do not recommend these companies.
One of the reasons for mislaying pension details is forgetting to advise pension providers you have changed address. They have no way of writing to you and the plan then gets forgotten. It is advisable to go through all your filing and ensure every business and provider has your correct contact details.
We have also talked before about setting up an inventory of all your plans and investments with contact details, policy/plan numbers and so on. Keeping an up to date list is not only helpful when it comes to notifying providers about a change in circumstances, but also for peace of mind for your loved ones.
Should you pass away, or become incapacitated, your family can find all the details they need, which helps reduce stress at a time when emotions are likely to be heightened.
Of course, what you do when you find any lost pension plans is a different subject, but we have discussed the amalgamation of pensions in a previous article.
If you would like an independent review of your pension provision, please contact us on 01344 875 310.