Why are people ‘losing’ their pension pots?

The scale of the lost pensions problem is “jaw dropping”, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The ABI said 1.6 million lost pension pots worth nearly £20 billion could remain unclaimed.

Here is a look at why people are losing track of their nest eggs and how to find them again.

– What is the problem?

According to the ABI, 1.6 million lost pension pots worth nearly £20 billion could remain unclaimed. The total could be even higher, as the research did not look into lost pensions held in the public sector, or with trust-based schemes typically run by employers.

– Why are people “losing” their pension pots?

The mobile workforce means that rather than the traditional “job for life” many people often switch employers and/or move around the country. The average person will have around 11 different jobs over their lifetime, and move home eight times.

– What other concerns are there?

Millions of people have been brought into workplace pension saving under automatic enrolment, meaning more pension pots for people to potentially lose track of. It is estimated there could be as many as 50 million dormant and lost pensions by 2050.

– What are providers doing about it?

The ABI says last year more than 375,000 attempts were made to contact customers, leading to £1 billion in assets being reunited with them. Work is also being carried out on the development a pensions dashboard, which would enable people to see all their pension money online in one place.

– I’m trying to track down a lost pension. What should I do?

You could contact the provider or a previous employer directly and digging out any old paperwork too may also be handy. The Government also has a free pension tracing service which can be found at www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details. You will need the name of an employer or a pension provider to use the service.

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