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Pension Awareness Week: tracking down my lost pension

Government website helps you find the pensions you've built up over the years

The average person will hold about 11 jobs in their lifetime, while it’s estimated that four out of five people don’t know where at least one of their pension pots are kept. So if you want to track down a missing pension, what options are available to you?

The good news is that tracking down your pension is easier than it’s ever been, and there’s plenty to claim. Last year, the Department for Work and Pensions stated that around £400m was sitting in unclaimed pensions.

The Government has launched a free online pensions service, which is reporting high engagement this year. It cuts out the paperwork when you search for a lost pension, and what once took up to four days now takes minutes. Here we explain how you can track down a missing pension.

What does the pension tracing service do?

The government’s pensions tracing service aims to reunite you with your long lost retirement savings.

There have been one million searches on the website since it launched in May 2016. The online tracing service allows you to track down more than 320,000 administrators in charge of various pension schemes across the country.

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How to find your missing pension

Step one

Open the online tool at gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details and select what sort of pension you think you have paid into. This will be either a company, personal or a civil service/NHS/teacher or army pension.

Step two

You then search for your pensions provider using the search bar on the website.

Step three

Once you’ve found the right company (this example shows if you searched for Oxfam under a workplace pension scheme) just make a note of their details and contact them.

If you’ve paid into a NHS, civil service, teaching or army pension you’ll be redirected to the website where you can find the specific pension service (see below).

Find out more: How pensions work

The service doesn’t cut out all of the personal admin involved – you’ll still need to contact the relevant company in charge of your pension by phone or email.

The tool won’t tell you how how much is in your pension, either. You’ll only find out that information when you contact your provider.

If you can’t get online

If there’s no internet at home, you can call 0345 6002 537 between Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. Or call (+44 (0)191 215 4491 from outside the UK; 0345 3000 169 by textphone if you are deaf or hard of hearing).

Or you can write to: The Pension Service 9, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 1LU.

Is it worth waiting for the new pension’s dashboard?

The new online pensions dashboard, which aims to allow people to view all their state and private pension pots in one place, is currently in consultancy phase and is due to launch in 2019.

The new dashboard is looking to bring together data from different pensions providers so that consumers can see exactly how much they have built up over the years. Major pension providers, including LV, Fidelity, Standard Life and Aviva, are supporting the roll-out of the upcoming dashboard (see video below).

In January this year, The Times reported that business networking site LinkedIn and Aviva were in talks to deliver to help people find their lost pensions.

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