We are great believers in checking your pensions regularly to ensure they’re performing as they should be. However, it’s not always easy to get hold of the information you need to conduct your check.
Moreover, you may have several pensions that you’ve enrolled in over the years that you’ve lost track of. This situation is common for people who have several workplace pensions, but you may also have inactive private pensions.
In this article, you will learn how to locate lost or forgotten pension plans and understand how you can maximise your retirement investments.
You Can Easily Track Down Your Pension
If you have lost track of an old workplace pension, there is no need to be too concerned. The government has provided an easy online search method to help you locate your pensions.
Even so, pensions can appear complex, and you may be better off engaging the services of a financial advisor. As they locate your missing pensions, a financial advisor can also check them. They can assess the pension’s value against other products available to you.
You can visit the government’s pension tracing service by clicking this link: https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details. It is easy to get started, and all you need are some basic employment details or the name of your personal pension.
Find Out Your Pension’s Current Value
If you have a lost or forgotten pension, it is highly likely that you’re no longer contributing to it. Therefore, your pension may not have grown since you last made contributions. However, your pension fund could still be worth a considerable amount on retirement.
To get a good idea of your overall retirement fund’s worth, you should check your pensions. Look at each of your pension plans and assess their value and features. Then, you can compare what you have with other pensions available on the market and decide if you should stick with what you have or change to another product.
It is worth noting that older pension plans tend to have higher charges and may not be as well-performing as more modern schemes. You should contact your pension provider to obtain the current value of your pension. However, if you feel daunted by doing this, don’t have the time, or don’t enjoy dealing with pensions, you can use a regulated financial advisor to help.
Transferring Funds To Another Pension Plan
You might want to consider transferring your funds to another pension plan. Often, older pensions don’t perform as well as more modern schemes, nor might they offer you as many benefits. For instance, since 2015, people aged fifty-five and over have been able to release money from their pension funds. Older pensions might not have this facility.
You could speak with a regulated financial advisor to get an assessment of your pension plans. They can check your current situation and arrangements. When they understand your needs and aspirations for retirement, they can compare your existing pensions against what’s available on the market and make suitable recommendations.
We briefly mentioned above how some pension-holders can access their funds from the age of fifty-five. This facility is called Pension Release.
When you reach fifty-five, you can take 25% of your pension fund as a tax-free lump sum. Any additional amounts can be either taken as taxable lump sums or left as an investment.
Pension release can be a useful facility if you have an urgent need for some cash. However, you should think carefully about taking money from your pension early as it could leave you short of income for retirement. Also, taking more than the 25% tax-free amount could severely affect the amount of tax you pay.
Before deciding to use the Pension Release facility, you should consult a regulated financial advisor. Also, it may be that your pension does not have this facility, and an advisor can talk you through other options.
Contributing To Old Pensions
You can restart your contributions to old pensions in certain circumstances, but it may not be the most cost-effective solution. You should first conduct an in-depth check of your plans and assess them against other available products to see what will work best for you.