Trace Old Pension Pots

It’s not always easy to keep track of a pension, especially if you’ve been in more than one scheme or have changed employers throughout your career.

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Trace Old Pension Pots

Over time, pension schemes close, merge or become renamed. So even if you remember the name of your scheme, it could now be called something else.


So how can you go about tracing any pension schemes you have paid into at some point in the past? Luckily there are some simple steps you can take that will get you on top of your pensions once and for all.

Not sure what to do with your pensions once you’ve tracked them down?

Deciding whether to combine your pensions can be a complex decision and is not for everyone. We are here to help. Speak to us today and make sure your plans are on track for the future you want.

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The best ways to trace forgotten pensions

Before you contact anyone you should have as many of the following pieces of information to hand:

  • National Insurance number

  • The name of your previous employer(s)

  • The name of your previous pension provider(s)

  • The dates of your employment - even if these are approximate

Get in touch with your former employers

Even if all you have is your National Insurance number you should be able to use one of these routes to track your pension down.

  1. If your forgotten pension scheme was run by a company you worked for, you should contact them first. In some cases, individuals may not have been aware they were actually paying into a pension, especially if no monthly salary deductions were being made. Most pension schemes must send you a statement each year. These statements include an estimate of the retirement income that the pension pot might give you when you reach retirement. First, check to see if you have any old paperwork that might have the name of your employer or pension scheme. This will give you a good starting point. If you’re no longer getting these statements – perhaps because you’ve changed your address – to track down the pension you can contact the pension provider, your former employer if it was a workplace pension, or The Pension Tracing Service.

  2. Even if your pension was linked to your job, it may have been run on your employer’s behalf by a pension company. In this case, you should get in touch with the provider rather than your previous employer. The same applies if you set up your own personal or stakeholder pension, for example. The Money and Pensions Service, which is sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, can also help you look for a personal pension. You’ll need to provide information about the name of your old employer or pension provider, and potentially further information such as the dates you worked at the company and your National Insurance number. If you know which provider your pension was with, your first step is to contact them. However you contact them, you should provide as many of the following details as possible: your plan number, your date of birth, your National Insurance number and the date your pension was set up.

Use the Government Pension Tracing Service

An alternative way of tracking down a lost workplace or personal pension is by using the Pension Tracing Service. This is a free government scheme which can be accessed via the government website. Again, you will need to provide as much information as possible about yourself and the dates you were a member of any scheme. You can phone the Pension Tracing Service on 0800 731 0193 or submit a tracing request form to the Pension Service via the GOV.UK website.

What questions should I ask about my old pensions?

Once you’ve tracked down all of your old pension pots you should ask the following questions.

  • What is the current value of my pension pot?

  • Have I nominated a recipient for any death benefits?

  • How much has been contributed into my pension pot?

  • What charges do I pay for the management of my pension pot?

  • How much income is the pension pot likely to pay out at my chosen retirement date?

  • How is my pension pot being invested and what options are there for making changes?

  • What are the charges if I wanted to transfer the pension pot to another provider?

  • What are the death benefits – in other words, how much money would be paid from the pension if I died? 

When you have the answers to these you will have everything that you need in order to inform your decision to consolidate or transfer your pensions into one place.

Need some more help making decisions about finding and consolidating your pensions?

Consolidating your pensions can mean less life admin  along with fewer and potentially lower management charges. However, It’s important that you know and compare the features and benefits of the plan(s) you are thinking of transferring.

It can be a complex decision to work out whether you would be better or worse off! combining your pensions, so it’s essential to obtain professional financial advice.

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