Quarter of savers lose track of pension schemes

A quarter (23%) of respondents have lost track of at least one pension scheme, according to research by Age UK.

The research, which polled 2,312 UK adults, found that nearly a third (30%) would try to trace a pension if they realised they had lost track of it.

According to Age UK, the trend for adults to have a variety of employers over a lifetime, often resulting in multiple workplace pensions, is one of the root causes of the emerging pension ‘black hole’. 

The reasons behind these ‘lost’ pensions include:

  • 47% are simply ‘lost in the mists of time’.
  • 20% of respondents who are missing pensions said they have lost their pension paperwork.
  • 10% blame the fact that they have moved jobs too many times to keep track of their pensions.
  • 37% of respondents those aged 18-44 already having experienced a ‘lost’ pension.

If they realised that had lost a pension, 23% would ask their previous employers for help, while 15% would consult the government or tax office, 11% would look online for advice, and 7% would turn to a friend or relative.

Lucy Harmer, head of services at Age UK (pictured), said: “With the number of jobs we have over a lifetime increasing, it’s likely that people will accumulate several small pension pots

“In many cases, these bring a less fruitful income in later life than one large pension pot.

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“While some measures are being taken by the government to account for smaller pension pots likely to be created under automatic enrolment, existing pots that we may already have are not being accounted for. This makes it more important than ever that we keep on top of what we have already accumulated.

“We strongly advise people to seriously think about planning for retirement and the kind of lifestyle you want; it’s never too early.”