For most people, their biggest asset outside of their home will be their pension. The days when we’d work for the same employer for decades are fading fast, which raises some challenges when it comes to keeping track of multiple pensions from various employers. Scarily, the Pension Policy Institute revealed last year that over £26 billion is currently sitting in lost pension pots.¹
Help is slowly on the way from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), with the long-anticipated pension dashboard (due in August 2023). But due to the massive scramble by pension providers to update their data, reconcile historical records and even find basic information about customers, further delays are expected.
In the meantime, you could start by using the Pension Tracing Service, a free service run by the Government with an online database of more than 320,000 pension scheme administrators. It won’t tell you how much is in your pension, but it can help you navigate the myriad of pension scheme administrators who may have changed name or been taken over.
The temptation of many, when finding lost pensions or reviewing old ones, is to start diving into the details, seeing how the funds have performed, the fees they’ve incurred and whether to consolidate.
So, what next?
As a Financial Planner, one of my – somewhat contradictory – beliefs is that there is no such thing as a financial plan. We have life plans that need money to achieve them. So, for me, the retirement planning journey has to start with designing your retirement blueprint. Some of the questions we ask our clients are:
- Do you want a phased retirement or have you a specific end date?
- Have you achieved everything you wanted?
- What would you give up today to get there?
- How will you spend your time on the other side?
- Will you consult, volunteer or work part-time?
- How can we make sure you never look back?
Throughout your career, you’ve traded your time in return for money. The prospect of using that money to buy time in retirement can seem daunting. Knowing what you’ve got, what you’re building and how your pensions can get you there, can make the journey towards retirement an exciting and rewarding one.
(1) Pensions Policy Institute: Briefing Note 134 (2022)
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you’re a client you can reach us on 0161 486 2250 or by getting in touch with your usual Equilibrium contact. For all new enquiries please call 0161 383 3335.