With a staggering £27billion sitting in lost and forgotten pensions, the founder of Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, urged listeners on BBC Radio 5Live to use the Pension Tracing Service to find out if they could be missing out on their savings.
This comes after a man watched Mr Lewis’ Money Show and was able to recover two old pensions collectively worth £121,000.
Mr Lewis told listeners: “A chap called Rob got in touch with me to tell me that I’d mentioned something called the Pension Tracing Service.
“What the Pension Tracing Service can do is it can find out who your old pension was with and get in touch with them for you.
“So after Rob had seen me talk about it on the programme, it triggered a memory for him. He remembered signing up for a long-forgotten pension in his first job over 30 years before.
“The tracing service helped him locate it from his old firm and he had found he had put – because he was part of a company pension – £24,500 into that pension when he was younger. It was going out of his income, and he had forgotten about it.
“That £24,500 was now worth £97,000.”
After going through an old box of papers, Mr Lewis explained that Rob found another pension from the 1990s.
While he’d just paid £600 into this pension, after tracing it, he was shocked to find it was now worth £24,000.
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Mr Lewis said: “So he found £121,000 worth of pension. This is my rather exaggerated way of saying it’s worth a check.
“It’s called the Pension Tracing Service. If you’ve worked for many different companies and you think you might have had pensions in the past that you may have paid into, do this.
“£27billion of money is sitting in forgotten lost pensions.”
Mr Lewis then stressed the importance of the service that helps people find out who their pensions have been with, and how to get in contact with them.
Mr Lewis added: “Go through your old payslips.
“No promises, nothing’s perfect, and I’m not saying it’ll be easy, I’m saying it’s worth a check.”
“[Rob] was incredibly happy. He came into the studio and he said he wanted to say thank you and add [his] voice to say ‘You really should check this’. This is especially because we now tend not to work for one company for 30 years.
“We have more of a portfolio of careers, we have lots of different jobs – it’s easy to lose track of a pension.
“This is a big issue. We want people to have a decent retirement and if you’ve saved for it and you’re not accessing it, that’s a hair-pulling-out moment. Do check for your lost pensions.”
People can access the Pension Tracing Service online, which will help people find the contact details to search for a lost pension. People can also phone the service on 0800 731 0193.
This service will not tell people whether they have a pension, or what its value is. However, the development of a Government-led Pension Dashboard Progamme (PDP) is currently underway that will compile all pots in one place.
The aim of the project is to put savers “back in control” and help reconnect them with their lost pots so they can plan better for retirement.
The last estimate was that it would be rolled out by August this year, however, technicalities have meant the deadline has been extended once again.
Pensions minister Laura Trott said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will legislate at the “earliest opportunity” to amend the timing and provide clarity on the project, and a further update will be issued before the House of Commons’ summer recess in July.
The Martin Lewis Podcast is available on BBC Radio 5Live every Wednesday.
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