National Pension Tracing Day campaign highlights extent of lost pots problem

Less than half (44 per cent) of pension savers can remember the company that provided their first pension, a survey conducted ahead of National Pension Tracing Day has revealed.

The survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of the National Pension Tracing Day campaign, with National Pension Tracing Day taking place on 29 October.

It found that 78 per cent of respondents who have a pension have accumulated between one and thee pension pots, while 6 per cent have between four and six.

Meanwhile, 16 per cent of the survey respondents did not even remember how many pension pots they have.

The campaign stated that this lack of awareness could be contributing to the increasing number of unclaimed pensions, which has risen by over a third to around £27bn since 2018, and it is seeking to change this and reunite people with their lost pensions.

A large majority (86 per cent) of savers had never traced a lost pension, with 83 per cent not aware of the government’s pension tracing service.

Of those who do have a pension scheme, 41 per cent had less than £50,000 in their pensions, while 9 per cent had between £50,000 and £100,000, and 13 per cent had more than £100,000.

However, 37 per cent of survey respondents either did not know how much they had saved in their pension or preferred not to say.

Almost half (48 per cent) were confident about saving enough for retirement, despite the majority not being on track to meet the PLSA’s moderate retirement standard.

The research also found that the cost-of-living crisis was having an impact.

Of those who stated that their retirement plans were being affected by the increasing cost of living, 39 per cent said they needed to continue working for as long as possible, 26 per cent felt they would not be able to afford to retire, and 25 per cent wanted to retire early but were financially unable to.

"The fact nearly everyone can remember their first car but not their first pension supports what most of us already know: Making people more interested in their pensions is really tough, even if it means finding thousands of pounds you didn’t know about,” commented Punter Southall chief commercial officer, Alan Morahan.

“Around one in 20 people in the UK may have lost pensions, estimated to be worth on average £9,500 each and finding them could make a significant difference to their retirement.”

National Pension Tracing Day is a cross-industry campaign created by Punter Southall, and is supported by Aegon, Aviva, Hargreaves Lansdown, Legal & General, Royal London, Scottish Widows, Smart Pension, Standard Life, and The People's Pension. It also works in association with the Pension Attention campaign.

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