If you are saving hard for retirement, you cannot afford to ignore any frozen pensions you might have with former employers.
Frozen pensions are retirement savings can add cash to your savings – and you may even decide to transfer them into your pension or Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) to bolster your savings pot.
The problem is tracking the money down – and with an estimated £5 billion trapped in frozen pension, the effort is worthwhile.
It doesn’t matter how long ago you invested the cash, it’s still yours and although you cannot contribute to the fund, you can opt for a transfer.
Thousands of people have frozen pensions that they have forgotten about or cannot trace because the firm they worked for has gone bust or been swallowed by a rival.
Watch out for scammers
The pension provider also has problems contacting savers who have moved address without notifying them.
Retirement savers can access a free government pension tracing service to find out if they have any frozen pensions.
Beware other pension tracing services with similar names to the one provided by the government.
Many are scams or charge a fee to carry out the same job as the free service, adding no value to your search.
The service is easy to access and not complicated to use, so you should not need to pay for someone to help.
Free pension tracing service
You can contact the Pension Tracing Service online, by phone or post:
- The web address gov.uk/find-lost-pension – if you search online and find a service without the ‘gov.uk’ tag, they are possible scammers
- Telephone: 0345 6002 537 or +44 (0)191 215 4491 from outside the UK. The Textphone number is 0345 3000 169. The lines are open between 8am and 6pmMonday to Friday
- Write to The Pension Service 9,Mail Handling Site A, WolverhamptonWV98 1LU
The service does not include National Health Service, civil service, teaching or armed forces pensions – if you are trying to trace one, contact the helpline for further details.
You will need details of your former employers and the dates when you worked there and your national insurance number as well as address details.