Keeping track of your pension can be difficult at the best of times, and if you have multiple pots it can seem nigh on impossible. Fortunately, we have some top tips to help.
First introduced in 2012, auto-enrolment made it compulsory for UK employers to automatically enrol their staff into a pension scheme, unless they opt out.
However, according to financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown, £600 million is being lost from this scheme each year.
This is because every time you change employer, you receive a new pension pot. Each time you start a new pension pot, you are charged between £20 and £80 in administrative fees. With the average worker changing jobs 11 times, over the course of a lifetime that adds up to a substantial sum.
Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to avoid these extra charges and make sure that you are up to date with all your pension pots:
1. Avoid having more pension pots than necessary. If you change employers, see if you can transfer your old pension across to the scheme in your new workplace. Sometimes employers will be happy to make contributions to your existing pension pot. If so, you can keep that one going and avoid any extra charges.
2. Be mindful of where your money is. Never take for granted that the default fund your employer provides is the best one for you. It is important to see if your hard earned pension pot could be growing more elsewhere. There’s a chance you might be able to stake out a pension fund with fewer charges or a better investment return than your employer’s default pot.
3. Remember to notify pension companies if you move house. If you have multiple pension pots, it is easier than you think to lose track of a pension fund, especially if the company can no longer contact you.
4. Use the government’s pension pot finding service. Luckily, the government has an online service that allows you to find contact details for your own workplace or personal pension scheme. You can access this here.
5. Check back through your paperwork. The majority of pension providers send an annual statement that includes the current balance of your pension, plus a projection of how much your pension will be worth when you reach retirement age. There’s a chance you might have held onto these and they may be lurking at the bottom of your filing cabinet. When you find the right document, you can contact the pension provider to update your details.
6. Get in touch with your old employers. If you think you have lost a pension pot, get in touch with your old employers straight away. They should be able to help you find the details of any lost pension.
Keeping track of your pensions can, at times, feel overwhelming. We hope that our pension top tips help you manage your pensions and maybe even save you some money. Do feel free to get in touch with us directly if you have any questions around this topic.