Conducting regular reviews of your pensions is a prudent thing to do. However, if you’ve misplaced the information, or worse, completely lost track of your pension, it makes it challenging to review.
This article aims to explain how to track down old pensions so that you can maximise the money you have available for your retirement.
Tracking Down An Old Pension
If you are trying to locate an old workplace pension, the best place to start is on the government pension-finding website page. It is free and straightforward to use. You need the name of your previous employer or pension details to get started.
It might be a good idea to seek help from a financial advisor because pensions can be complicated. A financial advisor will help you locate your pensions, assess their value, and help you choose an alternative if needs be.
Valuing Your Pension
If you stopped contributing to your pension when you moved to a new employer, it’s unlikely that your pension will have grown much since. However, there could still be a substantial amount in your pot from the time you were making contributions.
To get an accurate idea of your pension’s worth, you should consider both its financial value and the other benefits it offers. You can then compare your pension plan to other products on the market and decide whether it would be beneficial to switch.
Older pensions may come with higher fees, which means they are less likely to perform as well as more modern and lower-charging schemes. Your pension provider can give you an up-to-date valuation. However, if you find it challenging to understand pensions’ intricacies, it might be a good idea to seek advice. An FCA-regulated independent financial advisor can provide help and advice with your pension queries.
Transferring To Another Pension Plan
In short, yes, you can, and it is called a pension switch or pension transfer. As previously mentioned, older pension plans might not perform as well as newer ones. Your old pension might also have higher charges, or you might want to add new features to your pension.
Whatever the reason, a financial advisor can help you make the best choices for your pension funds. One of the more exciting features to be introduced to pensions is the ability to access your money from the age of fifty-five. This feature is called pension release, and it is something you might want to consider. However, you should seek advice before acting.
In 2015, the government passed legislation enabling people to get early access to their pension funds. This process is known as Pension Release.
From the age of fifty-five, you can now take 25% of your pension pot as a tax-free lump sum. If you need an urgent injection of cash, this can be a useful feature. You can also take more from your pot as lump sums. However, anything over 25% will be taxed, so be aware of this. Also, the more money you take out in lump sums, the less money you’ll have in your pot for when you retire.
Pension Release is not available with all pensions, so this may be one reason you choose to move an old pension into a new scheme. A regulated financial advisor can help you make the best decision to suit your situation.
Continuing With An Old Occupational Pension
Whether you can continue making contributions into an old occupational pension depends on the terms of that particular scheme. Even if there is a facility to continue, doing so it may not be the most financially-sound option. As we mentioned earlier, speak with a regulated financial advisor, and assess the plan’s value and its features. You may be able to find something more cost-effective on the market.
If you’ve moved employment several times over your working career, chances are you’ll have more than one pension. Locating them can considerably improve your lifestyle in retirement. Hopefully, this article will inspire you to go out and find your lost pension plans.