76% of working Brits unsure how much their pension is worth

More than three-quarters of UK workers are unaware how much their pension value is worth, according to a new survey by Portafina.

Research by the pension advice specialist has revealed that workers are struggling to keep track of their own pension savings – meaning they could be missing out on thousands of pounds in retirement.

ONS figures have estimated that since the launch of auto-enrolment, there are 9.5 million people enrolled in a workplace pension in the UK, and since being acknowledged in Queen Elizabeth’s speech earlier this week – in which it was stated ‘measures will be brought forward to provide simpler oversight of pension savings’ – it is still unknown when exactly UK workers can expect the government to launch the Pensions Dashboard.

Currently, workers in the UK must keep track of their own pension savings, which includes those from previous jobs.

Portafina’s survey has revealed that when asked how they currently manage old pensions, 75% of UK workers admitted they had never collated all the details of past pensions – with 38% unable to find their pension paperwork.

Portafina managing director, Jamie Smith-Thompson, said: “With the nation struggling to keep on top of valuable old workplace pensions, the Pensions Dashboard can’t come quickly enough.

“While the Queen has made the promising announcement that measures will be brought forward to provide simpler oversight of pension savings, with no government majority to pass a pensions bill, a level of uncertainty continues to surround when exactly Brits can expect the launch of a dashboard.

“The longer the Pensions Dashboard saga drags on, the more people remain in the dark about their pension savings.”

With 76% of those surveyed by Portafina claiming they were unaware how much their pension savings were worth, 65% said that they would find it useful to see all their pensions, including those from previous jobs, in one place, making it easier to keep on top of their total value.

There were, however, still 22% of surveyed workers who claimed that seeing their total pension savings in black and white would make them worry they are not saving enough for the future.

“Lost and unclaimed pensions are only part of the problem for workers who are losing track of their hard-earned savings over the years,” Smith-Thompson added. “Old unmanaged pensions could be suffering from high charges and poor performance – meaning there could be less than expected in a pension pot at retirement.

“Until the Dashboard is launched, it is important that old pensions are reviewed regularly. This is where speaking with a regulated independent financial adviser can help. An adviser can reveal how much your pension is worth now, as well as help you to understand your options.

“This could include transferring old pensions to a modern scheme that is properly tailored to you, which could make a big difference to the amount you have for your retirement.”

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