Number of old pension pots unknown for one in eight

One in eight people do not know how many old workplace pension pots they have, according to a poll carried out by interactive investor.

With an average age of 55, 13% of customers of the investment platform said they did not know how many old workplace pensions they have.

The poll, which was conducted in November on the interactive investor platform and received 1,360 responses, revealed that the number of old workplace pensions held by most respondents was two to four, with 41% of investors saying they had this number of old schemes.

The next highest response was “just one” with 39% of responses. The results showed that only 5% had four to six old work pensions, while 2% had more than six.

interactive investor suggested its findings underscore a “growing need” for the Pensions Dashboard, an initiative that has been subject to a number of delays.

“Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to keeping on top of old workplace schemes,” commented interactive investor head of pensions and savings, Becky O’Connor.

“The mystery of missing pensions is one you definitely want to solve as over the years, investment growth – even for pots you haven’t been contributing to – can add up to thousands of pounds. That is money few of us can afford to ignore in retirement.

“As well as just finding out how much your total pension wealth is worth, another reason to identify old pensions is that you might be paying too much in charges on them.

“High percentage charges, particularly on old pots, can end up stripping thousands of pounds from your retirement wealth without you even realising. Fee erosion is a particular problem for smaller pots that are not generating much investment growth.”

O’Connor also highlighted that there are ways to locate old schemes and consolidate them into one place.

She continued: “The number of old workplace pensions is expected to grow during the decades following auto-enrolment, with more people than ever signed up to a pension through their employer and changes in the labour market resulting in people having more jobs – and therefore more pensions – throughout their working lives.

“The government may be producing a Pensions Dashboard, allowing us all to see all of our pensions in one place. But until that is developed, there are ‘DIY dashboard’ options, such as Self-Invested Personal Pensions, available.”

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