The Missing Pension Riches that could be yours! How you can trace your lost UK pension funds.
We are regularly warned that an almighty UK pension crunch lurks on the horizon for Britain. Yet hundreds of thousands of people may be owed over 3 billion pounds in ‘lost’ company and personal pensions funds.
And that could mean that you – yes, you – might be missing thousands of pounds that you can claim. We explain why and how below.
A radical shift in working patterns has created a world of small pension pots as people flip from one employer to another. And in the whirlwind of mergers and takeovers of pension providers and banks over the past two decades, many people have simply lost track of their nest eggs. Pension providers are just sitting on these assets – sometimes even after people reach age 75. In some cases they may well have lost the customer’s address and cannot make contact. This is particularly prevalent for British Expats who have sold up and moved abroad.
Many people are just painfully unaware that they are missing out on money that’s rightfully theirs. With just two in five over 55s expecting a ‘comfortable’ retirement, according to a survey by Aviva, locating lost pension cash could help ease the pensions crisis brewing in Britain currently, due in part to recent changes made to the UK State Pension threshold for men & women.
The Unclaimed Assets Register reckons billions of pounds could be festering away in unclaimed assets – nobody knows the exact figure. The paid-for service is currently helping one customer reclaim £100,000. The Chartered Insurance Institute says the pensions ‘gap’ – the difference between expectations and reality – is now trillions of pounds wide. It’s been stretched by the squeeze on pension incomes. Pension pay out rates have slumped from around 17 per cent in the early 1990s to nearer 6 per cent today. That means a £100,000 pension pot is worth just £6,000 a year, compared to nearly £17,000 twenty years ago. Some in the ‘baby boomer’ generation face a huge shock as they hit retirement. Against this worrying backdrop, missing pensions are a serious problem and a potentially massive boost for their long-lost owners.
How to lose a pension
The days of sticking with one firm for life are gone. In fact, 70 per cent of men across the age spectrum told Aviva they’d worked at between two and eight companies and the Department for Work and pensions says the average is now 11 employers over the course of a working life. The result is a collection of disparate pension pots dotted about the place. Tony Hazell, who runs the reader problem page for Money Mail in the UK, says missing pensions ‘crop up with depressing regularity’ and reckons something is amiss. He says providers are often careless in keeping hold of paperwork, making it difficult to track down cash lost in the maze of financial services industry. This is ‘tantamount to theft’, he says.
The Government has admitted there is a problem. The Department for Work and Pensions says an extra 4.7million small pension pots will be cluttering up the pensions system by 2050 if nothing changes. There is a danger that keeping track will become horrendously complex.
You CAN find the missing cash
The good news is there are a few simple ways you can track down lost cash and fill your pockets. For those in retirement, or very near, a significant income boost could await. Those still saving could put the lost pot to better use by finding a scheme with lower charges and better performance.
Astute Financial Management Associates Ltd can be your first port of call. We have the tools to help you reclaim your lost pension policies. We need only a few pieces of information, like your full name, Date of Birth, National Insurance Number and a previous address or list of addresses. We will then wade through the maze that is the UK pension world & locate missing policies for you.
If you think you might be missing a pension, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. We are currently working on a case for a client, where we have found 3 separate pension pots tallying a value of £69,000 GBP. So you never know, you could get back more than what you think!
Director Astute FMA