There has been a decline in the number of people who have lost track of old pension pots, according to new research from Aegon.This improvement, although small, comes at a time when the number of people with multiple pension pots continues to increase significantly.
Aegon’s figures show that 73 per cent of people now have multiple pension pots, an 11 per cent increase over the past five years.However over this time the number who have lost track of one or more of these accounts has fallen from 21 per cent to 17 per cent, indicating a greater awareness of this issue.
Aegon says this still mean though that 6.4m people aged between 22 and 65 have misplaced some or their retirement savings.
The survey also found a decline in the number of people who were unaware of the overall value of their pensions — this has fallen from 39 per cent in 2016, to just 21 per cent this year.
The 2021 survey explored what caused people to lose track of their pensions. The main reason given was that the pension company had been taken over or rebranded, the paperwork had been lost or that people had moved house and not informed their provider or employer.
Aegon found almost half of respondents (48 per cent) knew to use the Pension Tracing Service from the DWP or to contact their previous employer(s) (42 per cent) to track down a lost pension. However almost one in five (18 per cent) said they had no idea how to find a lost pension.
Aegon head of pensions Kate Smith says: “As nearly every job comes with a pension now, it’s no surprise that the number of people with multiple pension pots has increased over the years. It’s really positive to see a fall in the number of people who have lost track of their pensions, which could indicate that people are becoming more conscious of their workplace pensions.”
But she says this does not mean the industry can put the challenge of lost pension pots behind them just yet.
“As the number of pension pots per person grows through a lifetime of work and while we await the delivery of pension dashboards, there’s a growing risk that losing track of pensions could become more common.”
She says there is a particular issue with smaller pension pots from earlier in people’s careers. The value of these should not be underestimated, she says, and they can play a part improving financial wellbeing in retirement.