In order to plan for your retirement, you need to figure out how much income you’ll get from all your pensions, including workplace or personal plans, as well as the State Pension. It’s actually pretty easy to get this information even for a pension you might have lost track of over the years.
Most pension schemes of which you’ve been a member must send you a statement each year.
These statements include an estimate of the retirement income that the pension pot might generate when you reach retirement.
If you’re no longer receiving these statements – perhaps because of changes of address – then to track down the pension there are three bodies you can contact:
If you know which pension provider your pension was with, then your first step should be to contact them.
There’s a link below to a template letter for you to complete and send to them, but however you choose to contact them, you should provide as many of the following details as possible:
And by asking the following questions, you’ll get a thorough overview of your pension pot:
If you want to trace a workplace pension – a scheme run by an employer – then your first point of contact should be the employer.
However, if your employer provided access to a personal or stakeholder scheme, then you should contact the pension provider if you know their details.
If you don’t the pension provider’s details, ask your former employer – they should be able to provide the details.
Again, you’ll find a link below to a template letter you can use for this purpose, but the key information you’ll need to provide to the employer is:
And the key questions to ask are what type of plan it is (for example, defined benefit or defined contribution?) and, unless it’s a defined benefit scheme, which pension provider your pension is with.
If you’re still struggling to make progress – perhaps because you can’t find the contact details of an old employer, or you don’t know the provider of an old personal pension – you can contact the Pension Tracing Service.
This is a free service which searches a database of more than 200,000 workplace and personal pension schemes to try to find the contact details you need.
You can phone the Pension Tracing Service on 0845 6002 537 or you can use the link below to complete an online request form.
A State Pension statement will give you an estimate of how much State Pension you might get, based on your National Insurance contribution records to date.
It will also help you understand how any future National Insurance contributions might increase the amounts shown.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.