Over 200,000 pension savers could be owed surprise cash worth THOUSANDS – how to find out

THOUSANDS of savers could be in for a surprise windfall from cash they've lost track of.

More than 200,00 people have hunted down old pension pots which they've forgotten about.

And with over 10million Brits now enrolled in a pension many more could have surprise cash stashed away.

People often lose track of their savings when they move home or jobs.

But the government's pension tracing service can help you track down an old pension – and there could be a big surprise in store.

According to a recent freedom of information (FOI) request by Hargreaves Lansdown, more than 200,000 calls have been made too the tracing service over the past four years.

The Association of British Insurers estimates that there are around 1.6million missing pension pots, with an average size of £13,000.

The Sun recently spoke to one pension hunter who tracked down £27,000.

If a pension is unclaimed then it could soon be passed on to good causes.

So-called dormant assets, where bank and building accounts are left unused for years, can be distributed after a certain time, with the cash going to environmental and social initiatives.

This could soon apply to unloved pensions too under new laws – though if anyone does eventually claim the cash, they will get it back.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Hundreds of thousands of pensions have gone missing.

"Ideally every pension could be reunited with its owner, but if it can’t, then it’s a positive for this to be put towards good causes rather than sitting around in forgotten accounts.

"The key is that if the pension investor comes back for the money, the scheme allows them to access their assets."

If you think you've got a pension out there, it could be easier than you think to find it – here's how.

How to track down a lost pension pot

First gather all the pensions documents you have – this could be paperwork or online documents or emails.

When you are first signed up to a pension you should get sent information about it.

Pension providers send annual statements usually by post, and that's why it's worth keeping your address up to date.

If you see any pension providers you don’t recognise, you can get in touch with them directly

Ask if they have more information about your pension and its value and they should be able to help.

If you don't know who you have a pension with, it's worth contacting old employers instead.

If they’re still in business, contact them to see if they can help you find out which pension provider administered your workplace scheme.

If you can't get in touch with your old workplace, or your hunting for a private pension then it's worth using the government's free Pension Tracing Service.

This lets you search a database of hundreds of thousands of pension scheme contact details to find your provider.

You can search online by entering the name of your employer or old pension provider.

The service will tell you who managed your old company's scheme and you will then need to contact them.

Meanwhile women face a pension shortfall compared to men that can leave us thousands of pounds worse off in retirement – here's how to fix it.

One grandmother has warned parents to check child benefits after she missed out on £800 a year state pension.

A savvy saver has explained how he is on track to "retire" by 40, with enough to live on without having to work.

 

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