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You may be missing billions in lost pensions – here's what you need to do right now


There are billions missing in lost pensions in the UK but what are these funds and what should Brits looking to track down their money do?

Pension expert Adam Pope from Spencer Churchill Claims Advice provides detailed insight and advice on what to do for those with lost pensions.

Why is this such a problem?

“It’s important to highlight the seriousness of the situation. Neglecting to track down unclaimed pensions is about more than just missed opportunities; it’s about the real risk of losing out on a pension. If individuals do not proactively locate these funds, they risk having nothing to rely on during their retirement years.

Mr Pope says that the financial loss resulting from unclaimed pensions extends beyond the amount of money left unclaimed as there is also the loss of potential growth and investment opportunities. By failing to manage these funds actively, individuals will miss out on the potential returns that could have been generated through investment strategies.

What happens to unclaimed pensions

“The failure to track down unclaimed pensions can lead to significant financial losses for individuals. If someone moves and fails to update their address or reaches retirement age without claiming their pension, the outcomes can be severe. This issue isn’t just about missed opportunities; it’s about the risk of losing an essential source of retirement income.

Mr Pope warned that if proactive steps aren’t taken to find these funds before one’s passing, people could lose their pension completely, amounting to tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Not updating beneficiaries can exacerbate this problem, which could leave loved ones in a challenging position should the worst occur.

Losses beyond financial gain

“The financial losses from unclaimed pensions go beyond just the absence of funds. Individuals miss out on the money and face other significant losses.

Mr Pope warned that the cost of living crisis could lead to bills piling up and the possible need to sell their house or rely on family members for support. This would add to the burden due to the heavy toll it can take on one’s mental health.

Mr Pope says that it is important to gather any relevant information – your pension plan numbers, personal details, and National Insurance numbers.

Mr Pope said: “Get in touch with previous employers and request details of their pension scheme, file through past contracts and payslips for deductions towards pension contributions.

“If a previous employer no longer exists, you can still find their pension scheme on government sites like Companies House.

“Other government services like the Pension Tracing Service exist specifically to help track down private and workplace pensions. Similarly, for Child Trust Funds, the HMRC website can help you with any unclaimed funds.

What can people do about it?

“Gather any relevant information – your pension plan numbers, personal details, and National Insurance numbers.

“Get in touch with previous employers and request details of their pension scheme, file through past contracts and payslips for deductions towards pension contributions. If a previous employer no longer exists, you can still find their pension scheme on government sites like Companies House.

“Other government services like the Pension Tracing Service exist specifically to help track down private and workplace pensions. Similarly, for Child Trust Funds, the HMRC website can help you with any unclaimed funds.

Mr Pope also advised that contacting a financial advisor when unsure of what to do is always a safe option.

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