Over 200,000 pension tracing calls made over past 4 years

A total of 206,705 calls were taken by the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) pension tracing service over the past four years, a freedom of information request from Hargreaves Lansdown has revealed.

The FOI showed that 63,340 calls were taken in the year to 28 October 2021, building on the 49,004 pension tracing calls received in the year to 30 September 2020, 53,581 in the year to 30 September 2019 and 41,780 in the year to 30 September 2018

Hargreaves Lansdown previously warned that action is needed to address the "looming problem of lost pensions", after research found that one third of 18-24 and 35-44 year olds had three or more pensions.

The figures come as the Dormant Assets Bill continues to work its way through parliament, with its third reading in the House of Lords scheduled for the 23 November.

The bill will allow the Dorman Assets Scheme to be expanded to include pensions and investments, in a move that is expected to unlock up to £800m for use in charitable causes.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior pensions and retirement analyst, Helen Morrissey, commented: “Hundreds of thousands of pensions have gone missing. Ideally every pension could be reunited with its owner, but if it can’t, then it’s a positive for this to be put towards good causes rather than sitting around in forgotten accounts.

"The key is that if the pension investor comes back for the money, the scheme allows them to access their assets.

“People lose track of their pensions when they change employer or move to a new home. They don’t keep their contact details up to date and so the provider cannot communicate with them - over time these pensions are forgotten about and people miss out on retirement income.

“This has been exacerbated by more people being automatically enrolled into a pension when they start a new job. Frequent job moves mean people can accumulate several small pensions over the course of their working life.

“However, there is no need to lose track of pensions. File pension paperwork away safely and update your contact details whenever you move to a new house.”

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