6.4 million savers have lost track of a pension pot

Around 6.4 million working age people have lost track of one or more pension pots, although the proportion of people to have misplaced a pension has dropped in the last five years, according to Aegon.

Its research found that, among people who had multiple pension pots, the proportion who had lost track of one or more of their pensions had reduced slightly from 21 per cent in 2016 to 17 per cent in 2021.

The most common reasons for people to have lost track of their pensions were that the pension company had been taken over or rebranded, paperwork was lost, or people had moved and had not informed their pension provider or employer.

Of those who had moved home, 13 per cent said they had not notified their pension provider of the change in address.

Almost a fifth (18 per cent) of respondents had no idea how to find a lost pension, while 48 per cent knew that the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Pension Tracing Service could help and 42 per cent were aware that they could trace lost pots by contacting previous employers.

Meanwhile, the proportion of people who did not know the value of their pensions decreased from 39 per cent to 21 per cent over the last five years, while almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of people were found to have multiple pensions, up from 62 per cent in the previous survey.

Aegon head of pensions, Kate Smith, said: “As nearly every job comes with a pension now, it’s no surprise that the number of people with multiple pension pots has increased over the years. It’s really positive to see a fall in the number of people who have lost track of their pensions, which could indicate that people are becoming more conscious of their workplace pensions.

“This doesn’t mean that we can put the challenge of lost pension pots behind us just yet. In fact, as the number of pension pots per person grows through a lifetime of work and while we await the delivery of pension dashboards, there’s a growing risk that losing track of pensions could become more common.”

She stated that smaller pots from early in people’s careers were “especially difficult to keep track of”, but stated that these smaller pots “should not be underestimated” and could still play a key role in planning for retirement.

She concluded: “It’s not the end of the world if you’ve mislaid some of your pensions, you can easily reconnect by using the DWP’s tracing service or contacting your previous employers or pension providers. You might be pleasantly surprised about what you find.”

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