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Home Lifestyle Almost one quarter of people have lost track of a pension

Almost one quarter of people have lost track of a pension

by uma


  • 23% of people say they have lost track of a pension.
  • One fifth of people (20%) were unsure if they had lost track of one or not.
  • 60% of people had more than one pension.
  • 43% of people in the 18-34 age group said they had lost track of a pension, compared to just 6% of over 55s.
  • Almost one-third of people (29%) said they would like to consolidate their pensions.
  • 30 October is National Pension Tracing Day where people are encouraged to track down lost pensions.

Data sourced from a survey of 2,000 people carried out by Opinium on behalf of HL in September 2022.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:

“Most people will change jobs several times during their working lives and this means we are likely to accumulate several pensions. Over time, it can be easy to lose track – you may move jobs or house and don’t update your contact details. But this can have a major impact on your retirement planning.

Finding a lost pension could be the difference between struggling to make ends meet or being a bit more comfortable in retirement. It might mean you can afford go part-time in the years before retirement or need to stay in work for longer, so its vitally important to keep your contact details for your pensions up to date. If you think you have lost track of a pension, contacting the government’s pension tracing service can help you locate it.

Once you’ve located your lost pension, it might make sense to consolidate it with any other pensions you may have. This makes it easier to keep track from an administrative perspective and you have a clearer view of what your savings are -this could affect your retirement decision making. Almost one-third of people we surveyed said they would like to do this.

However, before doing this, it is important to check whether there are any terms on old pensions that mean you might lose out on valuable benefits or cost you money if you decide to consolidate. For instance, older policies might incur expensive exit fees if you try and move them, or they may have attractive terms like guaranteed annuity rates. Checking for these things in advance can save you a lot of hassle and give you a clearer idea of what you have accumulated so far.”

Tips for tracking down lost pensions

  • If you have lost details of an old pension scheme, contact the government’s tracing service on Find pension contact details – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). It won’t tell you how much is in the pension, but it will help you find contact details.
  • You need the name of the company you worked for, the name of the pension scheme, or the name of the pension provider. 
  • If you prefer to speak to someone, call the Tracing Service on 0800 731 0193 – Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
  • Whenever you move home, it is worth adding pension providers to the list of people you need to notify so they have up to date contact details for you and you don’t miss out on important communications.
  • If you have accumulated several different pensions over your working life it might make sense to consolidate them, so you don’t lose track of them. This can help you have a much clearer idea of exactly how much you have, so you can plan with more certainty.
  • However, think carefully before you consolidate. Some pensions might operate expensive exit fees if you transfer, or you might miss out on valuable benefits like guaranteed annuity rates, so take advice or guidance as necessary to make sure you come to the right decision for you.