Find My Pension

Are you trying to find a lost pension? The government may be able to help you track down that money.

Key Takeaways:

  • If you have misplaced an old workplace pension, the government has a service that will help you track down your money.
  • Retirement is a busy time; make sure you ask the right questions before moving your pension.
  • If you’re seeking income in retirement, an annuity may not be your only option.

This might be embarrassing for some, but have you had a difficult time tracking down one of your old pensions? Don’t worry—it’s actually a lot more common than you think. Luckily, the Government has done a good job making it relatively easy to track down your money, no matter the size of your pension pot. Visit the government’s website to track down your pension.[i]

The most important information you will need to track down your old pension is the name of the employer or pension provider. Other information that may be helpful in tracking down an old workplace pension include your National Insurance number, the date which you started and stopped working with the employer and the date you joined and left the pension scheme. Note that the pension tracing service will not provide you with the value of the pension.

Important Information on Your Pension

If you have misplaced an old pension scheme, you may not be familiar with some of the details of that scheme. Here are some questions to ask your pension provider to get a detailed overview of you pension:

  • Are there any death benefits associated with this scheme? Who is the listed recipient for any death benefits?
  • How old must I be before receiving retirement income?
  • What am I currently being charged for the management of the pension pot?
  • How is my pension being invested and are there other options available?
  • What charges would I incur if I decide to transfer the scheme to another provider?

Before deciding what you will do with an old pension, you may need to see if the old pension scheme allows you to transfer all or some of the money into your current pension pot. If you intend to transfer your pension savings, consider that you may:

  • Need to redirect your contributions to the new scheme
  • Have to pay a fee to conduct the transfer
  • Lose the right to plan-specific protected benefits, such as protected retirement age or enhanced, tax-free cash entitlements

What should you do with an old pension?

Once you have tracked down your old pension, figuring out what to do with your savings is the next step. Some reasons investors look to move their pension pot include:

  • Changing jobs
  • Looking to consolidate plans
  • Moving to another country

Every investor’s situation is unique, meaning there is no single answer for, “What should I do with my pension?” You should talk with your pension fund provider to understand what options are available in your current scheme. However, options you may consider are:

  • Leaving your pension with its current provider
  • Withdrawing your money in a lump sum
  • Transferring your pension into another scheme
  • Exploring the investment options available in the scheme
  • Or purchasing an annuity

Before purchasing an annuity, you should make sure you know exactly how it works and what it offers you, as well as what other investment options are available for your pension savings. Here are some options to consider before moving your money into an annuity:

  • Will an annuity meet your spouse or other dependants’ needs upon your death?
  • Will an annuity meet all of your income needs in retirement?
  • Do you need retirement income flexibility?

Annuities can be complex and it’s important to understand their characteristics. Annuities may be low-returning compared to other investments like equities or fixed interest, and you may not have flexible access to the capital after purchase. Though some annuities may offer guaranteed retirement income, make sure you understand any disadvantages of annuities before purchasing one.

We Can Help Your Retirement Planning

Retirement planning is complex. You have spent your whole career saving and now it’s time to consider how to use those savings to generate income. Once you are aware of the options available to you, you may still need help figuring out what is best for your needs. Luckily, you don’t have to make the decision on your own. If you aren’t sure what to do with your pension pot, speak with one of our qualified professionals to learn about the potential investment options available to you.

[i]Gov.UK as of 2/26/2019.

Investing in financial markets involves the risk of loss and there is no guarantee that all or any capital invested will be repaid. Past performance neither guarantees nor reliably indicates future performance. The value of investments and the income from them will fluctuate with world financial markets and international currency exchange rates.