• An estimated £26.6 billion sitting in unclaimed, dormant, or lost pension plans, according to a new PPI study
  • Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group highlight how pension savers can track down pension pots

Ahead of National Pension Tracing Day on Sunday 30th October, Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group highlight how you can find out if any of the £26.6bn worth of unclaimed, dormant or lost pension plans are yours and what you can do about it.

New data from the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) reveals that since 2018, the value of lost pension pots in the UK has risen by 37.7%, or around £7bn. Shockingly, the total value of lost pots is now equivalent to a quarter of the yearly cost of the state pension. Over 2.8 million pots are now considered lost- this is an increase of 75% over the last four years.  (Pensions Policy Institute Briefing Note 134: Lost Pensions; what's the scale and impact? 2022.)

Why are people losing track of their pension pots?

It's great news that every employer now must provide all workers over 22 years old and earning more than £6,240 a year with a pension plan that both they and their employees pay into. This has resulted in more than 10 million people having been 'auto-enrolled' since 2012.

However, many employees don't pay much attention to their workplace pension, or what it's worth. And then when they move house or change jobs many forget about it. In addition to this, it's estimated that the average person in the UK will change jobs every five years, which means lots of pension pots to keep track of.

How to trace a pension?

If you think you may have a lost or dormant pension pot, it can be quite straightforward to track them down. With your National Insurance number, the names and addresses of your previous employers, and using the Government's Pension Tracing Service, you should be able to find out everything you need to know.

Gail Izat, Workplace Managing Director at Standard Life, said:

"Just knowing where to start looking for a lost pension can be daunting and that's why we have developed a range of online support to help reunite our members with their pensions and plan for the retirement they've worked so hard for. No matter how small, if you've contributed to a pension in the past, the money's yours, and we want to help you find it."

"One of the ways in which the issue of lost pots will be addressed is through looking at the ways in which people are accumulating multiple small pots via auto-enrolment. There's been lots of debate in the industry over the best way to solve the issue and the government introduced a working group designed to look at options for consolidating these savings. There's a good rationale for consolidating small pots as the more people have the greater their interest in the pension. At Standard Life, our preference is for the introduction of a 'pot follows member' approach whereby pensions under a certain size automatically transfer when people change jobs. If properly implemented, savers wouldn't need to do anything, and it would be a really easy concept for everyone to understand."

Gail Izat of Standard Life offers tips to help you keep on top of your pension savings.

  1. Keep your pension in mind when changing jobs or address - When moving jobs or changing your address, make sure to take the time to do the little bit of paperwork so that you continue to keep track of all your pension plans.
  2. Check in on your pension savings - Keeping a regular eye on where you are with your retirement savings could help give you peace of mind about your financial future and help you make sure you haven't lost any pension pots. Putting some pensions admin time aside every couple of months a year to consider is really valuable in the long run.
  3. Consider bringing all your pension plans together - If you manage to trace a lost pension plan or if you want to make managing a number of plans easier, you could consider moving older pension plans into your current plan. Having all your pensions savings in one place can cut down on admin time, as well as potentially reducing the charges you pay. Make sure you double check any benefits of older plans with your provider, to be certain you're not losing out.




James Ikin
07519 556776

James Merrick
Standard Life
07713 918949


About Standard Life

  • Standard Life is a brand that has been trusted to look after peoples' life savings for nearly 200 years
  • Today it proudly serves millions of customers who come to Standard Life directly, through advisers and through their employers' pension scheme.
  • Standard Life is part of Phoenix Group, the largest long-term savings and retirement business in the UK. We're proud to be building on nearly 200 years of Standard Life heritage together
  • Our products include a variety of Pensions, Bonds and Retirement options to suit people's needs, helping our customers to invest and save for their future. We're proud to offer a leading range of sustainable and responsible investment options.
  • We support our customers on their journey to and through retirement with comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidance so they can invest in the right way for their needs, and plan a future they feel confident about
  • The value of investments can go down as well as up and may be worth less than originally invested.

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