Government launches website in an effort to help trace £400 million in unclaimed pension savings.
A new website has been launched by the government’s Pension Tracing Service. On the website, people can enter their former employers’ details into the online database and are provided with contact details for pension schemes they may have paid into. The online service is free to use.
People have an average of 11 jobs during their working life, which means they can have just as many workplace pension pots to keep track of. There is currently an estimated £400 million in unclaimed pension savings.
There were 169,000 tracing requests in 2015/16 and over the past 10 years there has been a 436 per cent increase in tracing requests.
Minister for Pensions Baroness Ros Altmann says: ‘I’d encourage anyone who thinks they may be missing out on any savings to use the free online service at www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details.’
One user of the new website, Yvonne Mavin from London, used the service when planning for her retirement and was delighted to discover she had a £10,000 pension pot with Aviva.
Commenting on the new online service, Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: ‘This is a welcome development; The Pension Tracing service will help people track down lost pension pots and can dovetail with the forthcoming development of the expanding Pension Wise service.’
‘The simplest and most effective way to avoid losing track of old pensions is to consolidate them as far as possible into one arrangement; this can be done by selecting one pension you prefer to work with and transferring old pensions into it.’
The government and pensions industry are also working on creating a Pension Dashboard, which will help people view all their pension pots in one place.
McPhail says he would like to see the government go further and modify the terms of auto-enrolment to allow employees to select the pension into which their employer pays their pension contributions. This, he concludes, would help to put the individual at the heart of the pension system.
This article was written for our sister website Money Observer.