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Employees losing track of pensions

A survey of over a thousand adults highlights a lack of knowledge among employees regarding their own pension pots

Two fifths (39%) of people do not know the value of their pensions, according to research from Aegon.

The survey of over a thousand adults also found that more than one in five (21%) of the 62% with multiple pensions, had lost track of one or all of their pensions. As a result, more than 6.6 million people may have misplaced some of their retirement savings, Aegon estimates.

One option to prevent losing track of different pension pots is to combine them with one pension provider. Two thirds (67%) said they would be interested in consolidation. However, while 30% thought there were benefits to doing so, 43% said they would need further information before making a decision.

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, described the results as concerning. “Today people have diverse careers often involving multiple jobs with different companies,” she said. “The introduction of auto-enrolment has also led to more than seven million people saving into a pension and a big increase in total number of pension savers.

"As a result, a majority of people now have more than one pension but it’s a concern to find that 21% of these people have lost track of some of their savings. It’s very hard to plan your retirement without a full view of your savings and it’s important everyone has a clear idea of how much their pension is worth and what their state pension entitlement is likely to be.”

Smith suggested that upcoming changes to the pension industry could help employees better keep track.

“Looking to the future, the launch of a pension dashboard in 2019 should simplify the process of finding lost pensions, and has the additional bonus of seeing all your pensions, including the state pension, in one place,” she said. “It should also make it simpler to consolidate in future, but people don’t have to wait until then to get their pensions in order. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) pension tracing service can already help people find lost or forgotten pensions they built up many years ago.”