Do you have missing pension funds in the unclaimed £37BN pot

retired pension planning

A consumer survey revealed 24% of all UK adults under 55 said they may have lost track of one of their pensions.

Those aged between 25-34 are most likely to have lost track of a pension, with 29% believing they’ve lost track of a pension and a further 10% saying they weren’t sure if they had or not. *

Profile Pensions has conducted a new study revealing the total number of lost pensions across the UK. They’ve also provided details of what puts you most at risk, as well as some top tips to help you keep track of your hard-earned cash.

Amount of missing pensions

Profile Pensions estimates, that in the UK alone, there could be £37 billion in unclaimed pensions.

With an estimated total of 1.6 million pension pots currently missing in the UK, the average pension pot value is then valued at £23,000 each. For those able to locate a forgotten pension pot, this meant they were on average £23,000 richer, which could allow you to retire 2.5 years earlier.

The regions with the most to find

Some areas managed to put in more than the average amount of £23,000 to their pension pots. People from these regions then risk losing much more money if they were to lose track of pensions.

People living in the following areas were found to have the highest average pension pot that was found by Profile Pensions. These top five regions came in well above the average pension pot value of £23,000 and so could benefit the most from tracing missing pensions.

  1. Twickenham (£44.4K)
  2. Harrogate (£40K)
  3. North West London (£37.5K)
  4. Sutton (£36.1K)
  5. Croydon (£25.2K)

Research also revealed the regions with the highest total funds (across all residents) in missing pensions.

  1. Birmingham– £5.3 million relocated (229 pension pots)
  2. Sheffield– £4.3 million relocated (218 pension pots)
  3. Peterborough– £4 million relocated (133 pension pots)
  4. Newcastle upon Tyne– £4 million relocated (150 pension pots)
  5. Belfast– £3.6 million relocated (167 pension pots)

Michelle Gribbin, Chief Investment Officer at Profile Pensions comments:  “With auto enrolment and the fact that people are working longer, people have more pensions than ever to keep track of. Whilst we’re extremely proud to have reunited so many people with their forgotten pensions, we believe the governments Pensions Dashboard is the ultimate long term solution to the missing pensions crisis we’re seeing unfold. It’s extremely important people know where their pensions are, not just so they can access it a retirement, but also because they can make positive changes to their pensions pre-retirement, such as consolidating their pensions into a cheaper, well invested plan. 

What puts you at risk of losing a pension?

Moving home without notifying your pension providers is one of the most common ways a pension pot can get lost. Government research reveals that people move house 8 times on average in their lifetime – this number is only expected to grow as more and more people opt for renting over buying. Forgetting to notify all your pension providers when you move means you won’t receive your pension documents and annual statements.

Auto-enrolment to workplace pension schemes means you could have a pension pot from every job you have had, and with people working an average of 11 jobs in their career, that’s a lot of pension pots to keep track of.

The UK also saw 5 million people opting out of State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) in the 80’s and 90’s to lower their National Insurance contributions. To replace this, many opted for private pensions instead – the kind that is commonly forgotten about.