Somewhere Over the Rainbow – the Pension Pot of Gold?
Times have indeed changed and the days of a person working for a single employer for the entirety of their employable life is become less common. In fact it is believed that the average working person will change jobs approximately 11 times (and move home 8)! Potentially this could lead to many ‘mini’ pensions.
The Guardian reported that its estimate there is £19bn in lost pension funds just waiting to be reunited with their owners*. Often pension funds are forgotten when changing job or moving address. How many of us would remember to contact an old employer when we move home? Additionally there may have been a take over of the original company that managed the pension fund.
Leaving funds in old historic pensions may be losing out for you in terms of rates, fees and return but not claiming a pension fund altogether is literally throwing money away. Fortunately the Government has a online Pension Tracing Service (PTS) which can enable people to track down any potential pension pots they have overlooked. There are some exemptions and caveats – these are useful examples:
You left the employer:
• Before April 1975 – you will more than likely received a refund of your pension contributions.
• Between April 1975 and April 1988 – provided you were over 26 and completed five years in the scheme, you are likely to have a pension.
• After 1988 – you will be entitled to a pension, as long as you completed at least two years’ service.
Going forward our advice is keep records of your employee reference number and ANY pension scheme you are enrolled in. But for those searching now contacting the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), an independent body that is grant-aided by the Department for Work and Pension, may be of use if the PTS isn’t helpful.
So Langhams Associates have shown you the rainbow… Who knows there may really be a pot of gold hidden there!
For more help with your investments savings and pensions call us on 01473 487611 or email