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Identifying your pension pots

As you move through your working life and change from one job to another, you are almost certainly going to collect multiple pension pots. And while most of us have the best of intentions to keep records of them, over time life often gets in the way.

It’s possible you have multiple pension pots but you’re not sure how many you have, how to track them down or what you should do with them.

Four reasons to track down your pension pots

  1. Your various pension pots are your money. They might have even grown over time to hold more than you expected.
  2. This will give you get a better picture of your savings so that you can more accurately estimate your retirement income.
  3. You might discover that it makes sense financially to combine some or all of these pots together. (You should always consider getting financial advice before transferring any pension.)
  4. Tracking your pension pots sooner rather than later means one less thing you’ll have to worry about.

There are three ways to learn more about the pensions you have:

  1. You can talk to the pension provider/s themselves, if you know who they are. The Money Advice Service has a useful pension-tracing letter template that you can send off to the provider/s.
  2. Ask your former employer (if it is a workplace pension). The Money Advice Service has another useful pension-tracing letter template that you can send off to your former employer.
  3. If you don’t have the details for a past pension provider or employer, The Pension Tracing Service should be able to help. This free service searches a database of more than 200,000 workplace and personal pensions schemes to help you find the contact details you need. Find out more about the service on the GOV.UK website.

When you have successfully traced your pension pots you can more accurately work out what your estimated retirement income could be.

It’s worth considering pooling together your various pension pots as this can potentially help you avoid duplicating fees or charges, give you increased peace of mind and make managing your money simpler. This could be especially sensible as you draw closer to your retirement age or when you want to start receiving a retirement income or lump sum. However, you should always consider getting financial advice before transferring any pension.

Not sure where you stand?

If you’d like to get a better idea of your current pension situation and what you can do to work towards the retirement you want, take NEST’s Three Step Pension Check.

Take your Three Step Pension Check