How to trace an old pension

If you have had more than one job during your working life, or have frequently moved positions, it can be easy to lose track of any pensions you may have had.

It’s possible that you have more than one pension either set up by an employer, or privately by yourself, that you have simply overlooked. It’s always worth checking if you think this could apply to you, as you may have money owing.

How to find your money

A free service, the Pension Tracing Service, can help you track down any pension you may have. It’s easily available online or over the phone and you don’t need all of the contact details of the employer.

Firstly, go through any old paperwork you may have, including payslips or contracts. If you can find full details of your pension then it will be simpler to claim back. Often people forget that they have old records lying around, and a good look through old paperwork is always our first suggestion.

If you can’t find any details that way, then it’s time to hop online.

Details of employer

All you need is either the name of your old employer or of the pension scheme and provider that you had. If you know the name of the employer, it’s worth doing a bit of research to find out more details.

See if you can find out whether it used to have a previous name, the type of business it ran, whether the company has changed address and roughly when you belonged to the pension scheme.

All of this will help you to access any money you’re owed more quickly and easily. Use Google to do an online search for these details, or ask a friend or family member to help you if you’re unsure. Libraries often have internet access and a friendly person who can help you if you don’t have a computer at home.

Contact by phone

When you have all of these details, and any further information that will be of use, you can call the Pension Tracing Service on 0845 600 2537.

They will then check your information against their database of pension schemes in the UK. Alternatively, you can go online to gov.uk, to find the contact details for your pension fund.

All you’ll need is the name of your former employer or the name of the pension provider you were signed up with. You’ll get the details of the pension’s administrator.

Contact pensions administrator

When you have this information, you will need to contact the pensions administrator directly. While the service will tell you contact details, it can’t tell you that you definitely do have a pension or what it’s worth.

You can also use the service to search for pension details for someone else as long as you have their permission.

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