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Over 7 million may have misplaced retirement savings

10 June 2018

More than 7 million people may have misplaced some of their retirement savings, research by pension provider Aegon has revealed.

The research shows that 64% of people have multiple pensions, up 2% on a previous Aegon survey, and 22% of those have lost track of one or all of their pensions.

The findings highlight the challenge people face in keeping tabs on workplace pensions, with people taking on an average 11 jobs over the course of their career.

Kate Smith, head of pensions, Aegon, said: “It’s very hard to plan for retirement without a full view of your savings and an understanding of what your state pension entitlement is likely to be. So it’s concerning that the number of people who have lost track of their pensions has increased slightly.

“Without the bigger picture people might be setting themselves up for a retirement fall without a clear idea of what their savings are worth. Nowadays, the vast majority of jobs come with a pension and as people frequently change jobs it’s all too easy to lose tracks of your pensions, especially if they are small.”

However, the recent survey showed growing awareness of pension values in the last two years, with nearly a 10% fall in the number of people not knowing the value of their pensions from 39% to 30%.

Aegon said one option to help keep track of different pension pots would be to combine those, but the survey found just one in four (27%) would be interested in consolidation.

The top three reasons for avoiding moving all their pensions to one provider included not wanting all their eggs in one basket (46%), not knowing the benefits of moving their pensions (27%) and not wishing to pay for an adviser (27%).

Smith added: “Pension consolidation won’t be right for everyone, there are merits to not keeping all your eggs in one basket. And some older style pensions will have valuable benefits which may be lost on transfer. It’s notoriously difficult for people to keep track of small pension pots, particularly at the beginning of someone’s working life. Consolidation of small auto-enrolment pots along the way will help people keep track of these.

“Looking to the future, the launch of a pension dashboard in 2019 should simplify the process of finding lost options, and has the additional bonus of seeing all your pensions, including the state pension, in one place. The hope is that by making all their pensions more visible people will gradually become more interested in pensions, and in time start to make more active decisions to start to get them ready for retirement.”

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