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How to trace your pensions

Pensions are one of the largest matrimonial assets, and failing to include them in your settlement means you may miss out on potential long-term income and future financial security.

However, finding long-forgotten workplace pensions amid years of accumulated emails and paperwork can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Here, Independent Financial Advisers The Money Partnership share tips to help you track down lost pensions, whether you know your pension provider and pension value, or not.

How to trace your pensions

Since 2012, all employers are required by law to provide a workplace pension plan, also known as ‘automatic enrollment’, if all of the following apply:

  • you’re classed as a ‘worker’
  • you’re aged between 22 and State Pension age
  • you earn at least £10,000 per year
  • you usually (‘ordinarily’) work in the UK.

This means that if you’ve worked in a number of organisations, you’re likely to have multiple pension pots. Keeping track of them all can become difficult as time moves on.

Contacting the pension provider

Finding an old email or paperwork from your pension provider makes things simpler, as you’ll know who to contact to find out more about your pension.

Give them a call directly. You’re likely to be asked for some key information such as:

  • Full name
  • National Insurance No.
  • Date of birth
  • Date you set up your pension (if you know it)

It’s worthwhile asking them the following questions:

  • What is the value of your pension pot?
  • How much has been paid into the pot?
  • Would there be any charges if you transferred your pension pot to another provider?
  • How much are they charging to manage your pension pot?

Keep this information to hand!

Contacting your previous employer

If you can’t find any information about old pensions or who the provider might be, contact your previous employer.

They should be able to tell you about the pension plan they enrolled you in, as well as the start and end dates of your employment.

You should also ask whether the scheme was defined contribution or defined benefit.

Contact the Pension Tracing Service

If you’re unable to find any details about your workplace pension or get any information from a previous employer, you can try the Pension Tracing Service.

The Pension Tracing Service is a free government service that searches over 200,000 workplace and personal pension schemes to find the pension provider contact details you need.

Keep things up-to-date

Once you’re tracked your pension, ensure that your provider has the correct contact details for you.

Don’t forget to update your name if that has changed since you joined the pension plan.

Pension schemes can change, and close. You should be informed if this happens and how it affects your pension so it’s important to ensure your provider has up-to-date address and email for you, so you receive important communication.

Useful links

Divorce & the Gender Pension Gap

How to avoid the biggest financial mistakes in divorce

The cost of financial uncertainty on relationships

Why you need an emergency fund now more than ever

Taking control of finances – guidance from an IFA

Get in touch

The Money Partnership is an Independent Financial Adviser with 20+ years’ experience in helping people achieve financial clarity. We’re here to offer guidance on how you can save, grow, and protect your money. We know times are tough but staying on top of things can help you to maintain control of your financial situation.

Visit The Money Partnership for a range of financial resources or contact them today for a no obligation conversation.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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