Here’s a scary thought for you, this Halloween.
Somewhere out there may be a pot of gold, possibly worth thousands of pounds, with your name on it. If you can’t find it, you’ve lost it forever.
This Sunday, 31st October 2021, the streets will be full of people out trick or treating, collecting bags full of sweeties.
The organisers of the first ever National Pension Tracing Day hope that you’ll also use the day to begin searching for something much more valuable than candies.
They want you to start looking for that lost pot of gold with your name on it - otherwise known as a pension that your employer paid into years ago, but that you’ve lost track of.
Right now there’s believed to be over £19 billion in those lost pots of gold. The average value of each pot is £13,000. That’s real money, sitting in pension funds that have become disconnected from people like you.
If missing out on thousands of pounds that are rightfully yours is a scary thought, use this National Pension Tracing Day as a prompt to take action.
Blow the cobwebs off your employment history
“Think of it like buried treasure,” said one of the people who initiated National Pension Tracing Day.
And they’re right - that’s just what it is. Years ago one of your old employers may have buried treasure on your behalf. They may have given you a map, in the form of some rather dull paperwork, but you’ve lost it.
That happens a lot. And it’s happening more often, now that more and more employers are paying into pensions for their staff.
The Department for Work and Pensions calculates that as many as 50 million pensions could become lost in the coming years. That’s 50 million treasure troves, waiting to be discovered.
Does one of them belong to you? It’s time to blow the cobwebs off your job history and start searching for what might be out there for you.
How could I lose something so valuable?
It may seem incredible that so many people have lost track of cash that could make a real difference to their retirement years. Imagine what a few hundred pounds every month, for life, could pay for? It would cover a host of household expenses, giving you more cash for the little luxuries in life.
If you think it’s unlikely that anyone could forget about being entitled to this money, remember there’s over £19 billion already waiting to be claimed.
How did it become lost? It’s surprisingly easy. You move house and you forget to inform the pension provider. Easily done when the pension relates to a job you left years before.
Maybe you’ve mislaid the paperwork that you were given when you left that job, because it wasn’t clear to you what it meant. Unfortunately, older pension documents don’t usually carry big, bold messages saying, “Don’t lose this - it’s worth a lot in the future.”
It’s surprisingly easy to lose track of an old pension. Which is why there’s a need for a National Pension Tracing Day.
What’s worth more - trick or treat, or pursuing a pension?
Here are some more scary Halloween thoughts.
Four out of ten people have never bothered to look for old pensions they may be entitled to.
A quarter of those people will never bother, because they think it’s too much hassle!
All these people are ignoring the chance to claim money that’s rightfully theirs. Money that could make a significant difference to the comfort of their retirement.
Those billions in ‘lost’ pension funds aren’t actually lost. The cash is sitting in the bank accounts of pension companies. Those companies want to reconnect that money with those it belongs to. That could include you.
Whether or not you’re giving some time to trick or treating this Halloween, you should seriously consider giving some time to starting a search for your possible lost pension.
The organisers of the National Pension Tracing Day have even given you some extra time to do that. They’ve selected the only day in the year with 25 hours, because it’s the day the clocks go backward. That’s an hour you can invest in treasure hunting.
Start your pension treasure hunt today
If all these lost pensions are like buried treasure, where do you get a treasure map?
You can start by looking through any old paperwork from your old employers. There could be some clues in there.
Alternatively, you can try an online pension tracing service. The government has launched a free service to help you on your way. The service helps you find contact details for a lost pension. Click here to start the process.
Another option is the MoneyHelper service from the Money and Pensions Service. They provide a useful step by step guide to tracing and finding lost pensions. Click here to access this free online service.
Raindrop also offers a pension finding service, to help you reconnect to that company or personal pension that you've lost track of. The service makes it easy for you to rediscover money that’s sitting out there with your name on it. We also combine those pensions into your overall pot, ensuring that you won’t lose track again, because they are all in one place.
Once your pensions are combined, there is an all-in annual management fee like any other UK pension provider. You can read more about our fees here.
We will ask you to set up an email address and password, so we can keep you informed about the results from using our pension finding service via email and in your personal online dashboard.
As with all investing, capital is at risk. Ref: 6487