Making pensions easier than Pi

An image of the number Pi

Pensions

Julie Hutchison

29th August 2013 at 12:51pm

Making pensions easier than Pi

The world of Pi recollection (the challenge of trying to recite as much of the number Pi as possible) is more competitive than I ever imagined. The official record goes to Lu Chao from China who successfully recited 67,890 digits of Pi in 24 hours and 4 minutes in 2005.

Do you know where your pensions are?

In the world of pensions, remembering what is where can also be a tough gig.  Although probably not as challenging as learning to recite Pi because there are things you can to do to make it easier on yourself. It’s not uncommon to build-up multiple pots, through different jobs, as the years go by.

1 in 4 of us have lost track of a pension pot.

In fact 1 in 4 of us have lost track of a pension pot.  And those forgotten pots are estimated to add up to over £3billion.

That number is expected to grow sevenfold by 2017

Pensions from previous employment

Despite working in financial services, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I too only recently got back in touch with a pension scheme dating from my old job.  The scheme had been moved to a different pension company I hadn’t heard of.  I had not kept an eye on what was happening and basically filed and forgot the annual statements.

Now that I’ve moved it, here’s what I’ve found :

  1. It was easy to make the pension transfer – two phone calls and it was done.
  2. I can see how my pension’s doing on my ipad, using an app.  So, it’s helped me to have a clearer line of sight over what is where.
  3. I can keep an eye on the investments in the pension much more easily than I could before – again, because I can see it on my iPad.
  4. There was a better choice of investments compared to my old pension plan, and I did change the investment funds to something which I think suits me better.
  5. When I was online, I realised I had the option to name someone to inherit my pension, if I died before I retired.  I don’t think my last expression of wishes form was up-to-date, but I’ve now sorted this out online.
  6. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much the value of the investment in my old pension had grown – even though I hadn’t paid in anything since leaving my last job.
  7. I can now remember the name of the company my pension’s with!

Luckily, I didn’t have any exit penalties to pay when transferring my pension from the old scheme.  And there were no guarantees built into my old pension, which meant I wasn’t doing myself out of a gold-plated income – there was no reason not to act.

So, if you need to track down a pension, there’s a great new free government service called The Pensions Tracing Service which holds details of over 200,000 pension schemes that it can help to search through.

Getting a clearer view of your pension pot(s) really can be easier than Pi.

Share your thoughts

Join the conversation and follow us on twitter @StandardLifeUK and Facebook to share your experiences on tracking a lost pension.

Please note transferring a pension isn’t necessarily right for everyone and there’s no guarantee you’ll end up with a better pension.