- 22% are unaware of the option to consolidate their pensions, as an estimated £26.6bn sits in lost pots
- A quarter (25%) of people who haven’t consolidated put this down to not knowing how to
- Ahead of National Pension Tracing Day, Standard Life outlines ways to track down missing pots and what you should consider about consolidating
People tend to be changing jobs more often than ever before and picking up more pension pots along the way. At the same time, almost a quarter of UK adults (22%) are not aware they can consolidate their pension pots, according to new research1 from Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group.
As people turn their attention to tracking down missing pension pots on National Pension Tracing Day this weekend, some may consider consolidating multiple funds into just one pension. However, Standard Life’s1 Retirement Voice report, conducted among more than 6,000 people in the UK, highlights significant knowledge gaps around the option to combine pensions together.
More than one in ten (12%) are only vaguely aware of the option to consolidate, while 21% have heard about it but not in any detail. Only 20% are fully aware of pension consolidation.
Consolidating can be simple
More than three-quarters (77%) of those who have combined pensions said they found it easy.
Meanwhile, those who have not consolidated pensions put this down to:
- Not knowing how to (25%
- Being scared of making a mistake which might negatively affect retirement income (13%)
- Thinking it’s complex (8%)
- Thinking it’s risky to have all pension pots in one place (8%)
Dean Butler, Managing Director for Retail Direct at Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group commented: “Throughout a career it’s easy to collect several different pensions, but as they build up it can become much harder to keep on top of them. Life gets in the way and when you move house or change jobs your pension is unlikely to be top of your agenda and can easily be forgotten about. Tracking them down is not as difficult as you think and a good first step is to use the Government’s Pension Tracing Service. As the clocks go back on Sunday 29th October, consider taking the extra hour to begin your pension tracing quest. It can provide greater certainty for the future knowing where all your pensions are and how much they are worth, so it could be the most financially rewarding hour you’ll ever spend!
“The next step is to decide what to do with your various pensions. Consolidating them into one single pension plan can enable you to take advantage of less admin and filing, make it easier to track performance and boost your understanding of how much you are saving for the future, as well as potentially result in you paying lower charges. However, it’s important to understand your circumstances first, and it’s worth seeking guidance or advice to make sure this is the right thing for you before making any decisions.”
Dean Butler offers tips to help you track your pension savings, and what you should be aware of about consolidating:
How do I find a pension plan from a previous employer? “There are a few ways you can find lost pensions. The most obvious first step is to find the original paperwork from when you joined the scheme. If you don’t have these documents, another option is to get in touch with your old employers and ask them who your pension provider was when you worked there. However, perhaps the simplest way of finding your old pensions is by using the Government’s Pension Tracing Service. Here, you can track down both workplace and personal pensions by entering the names and addresses of your previous employers, or the names of your old pension providers.
What should I do when I’ve tracked down all of my pensions? “Once you’ve found all your pension plans, you might want to consider bringing them all together by transferring them to your new plan. This can be beneficial for several reasons, such as:
- Less admin - Bringing your pension plans together means you only need to get in touch with one provider when your circumstances change, such as a change of address or contact details
- Easier to track performance - With all your pension plans in one place, it’s much easier to see if you’re on track for the retirement you want
- Lower charges: By transferring your pension plan, you could potentially benefit from lower charges from your new provider, such as lower fund management charges
“However, transferring other pension plans will not be right for everyone, and you could lose valuable benefits and guarantees. You need to consider all the facts before deciding if it's right for you. It’s best to check with a financial adviser if you’re unsure.”
Notes to editors:
1 - Boxclever conducted research among 6,350 UK adults. Fieldwork was conducted 26th July – 9th August 2023. Data was weighted post-fieldwork to ensure the data remained nationally representative on key demographics.
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.