In the UK, as elsewhere, few people stay with the same employer for life. On the way from employer to employer, pension schemes are entered and pension schemes are left behind.
Over the years, previous employers will have merged with other companies and insurance companies that offer personal pensions may have merged together too.
This gives rise to the questions “ Where are all my pensions? How much are they all worth? How can I claim them?” If a previous scheme was non-contributory, it may be that people do not realise that they have pension benefits preserved for them for retirement. A considerable number of people contracted out of SERPS (State Earnings Related Pension Scheme), and this required no personal input. How many of these people have money sitting in forgotten pension accounts?
In this modern age of austerity, it makes sense to have a close look at all pension entitlements as “every penny counts”.
Tracking your Pension
The first step should be to make a list of all your previous UK employers and to contact them to see if you have any pension entitlements (in the event that you are not sure).
Having done this,it is possible that you will find that some of the pension funds are worth just a few thousand pounds and are unlikely to provide much income on your retirement.
As an example, a 60 year old male with a fund of GBP 10,000 would be able to purchase an income (with some provision against inflation) of only GBP 25 per month. Hardly enough to provide security in retirement.
Traditionally a fund of less than GBP 30,000 will not have been viable or practical to move or advise on and the IFA will have simply left it alone.
The fund cannot be touched until the age of 55 and, of course, the expected pension benefits are nominal and, in many cases, have already been “written off”. They are not, therefore, any part of a serious pension plan.
Square Mile can suggest a solution, whereby the amount that is presently being held in the fund is used to generate potentially substantial investments, with a view to a much bigger return when you retire.