Punter Southall Aspire is spearheading a new campaign to help savers track down lost pension pots.
This industry-wide campaign, backed by Scottish Widows, Legal and General, Aegon and Standard Life, aims to highlight the amount of money in unclaimed pension funds and encourage people to track down older workplace pensions.
According to Punter Southall Aspire there are now 1.6m dormant pension pots worth some £19.4 billion. This equates to an average £13,000 in each ‘lost’ pension.
Although this include workplace and private pensions, Punter Southall Aspire says one of the biggest issues is with workplace pensions, with people changing jobs and losing track of auto-enrolment savings.
It says people change job an average of 11 times and move house and average of eight times and often forget to update record with a previous pension company.
This situation looks set to get worse with the DWP estimating there could be as many as 50m lost pensions by 2050, largely due to auto-enrolment.
Punter Southall Apsire is launching a ‘National Pension Tracing Day’ on Sunday 31 October to highlight this issue and is urging consumers to use the extra hour gained by the clocks going back to trace previous pension holdings.
Punter Southall Aspire’s employee benefits managing director, Alan Morahan, added: “We’re delighted that four of the largest pension providers in the UK are backing this campaign as founding sponsors.
“We’re confident the wider financial services community will get behind this simple way to highlight something people wrongly fear is complicated. We want the message to go far and wide.
”We will launch an online resource centre in October to help everyone take the first steps to discovering what may be a missing or misplaced windfall.”
Robert Cochran, retirement expert at Scottish Widows adds: “Our research tells us that whilst savers already have the option of combining their pensions, one in 10 have no idea how to do this, while 12 per cent say it’s just too much hassle. As a result, 44 per cent say they’ve never bothered to track down savings from a previous employer.
“The issue of lost pots will only increase as people change jobs and are enrolled into new pension schemes. For all these reasons, Scottish Widows is delighted to support the National Pension Tracing Day initiative to reunite people with what’s theirs and take control of their financial futures.
Emma Byron, managing director of Legal & General Retirement Solutions, adds: “It can be easy to lose track of your pensions. People change jobs and move house more frequently now than in the past, and their lost and forgotten pots can make all the difference, particularly as we see such a significant number of people reaching retirement without adequate pension provision.
“We know the value that spending time on your retirement planning – even if it’s just an afternoon – can make once you reach retirement. We hope to see many people taking advantage of the 31st October as an opportunity to start their search for their lost and forgotten pots.”
For more information on this industry-wide campaign see Punter Southall Aspire’s website