The changing nature of the jobs market means it's highly likely that you've got more than one pension pot, but the question is, do you know where they all are? According to research from Aegon, many people don't.
The figures show that 62% of respondents have multiple pension pots, but more than one in five (21%) of those have lost track of one or all of their pensions. A further 39% don't know the value of their pensions, highlighting that not only could many people have misplaced some of their retirement savings, but others may not even be aware of their current benefits.
Given that the typical worker has 11 jobs in their career, it's perhaps little wonder that some pension pots get misplaced. It can be difficult to keep tabs on them, and as there may not be that much in each – given how quickly many people can change jobs – it can be easy to overlook the benefits. However, as Aegon's Kate Smith points out, that means many could be finding it difficult to properly plan their retirement.
"Today people have diverse careers often involving multiple jobs with different companies," said Kate. "The introduction of auto-enrolment has also led to more than 7m people saving into a pension and a big increase in the total number of pension savers, [so] it's a concern to find that 21% of these people have lost track of some of their savings.
"It's very hard to plan your retirement without a full view of your savings, and it's important everyone has a clear idea of how much their pension is worth and what their state pension entitlement is likely to be."
If you're finding it difficult to keep track of things, why not consolidate? By bringing every pension pot together it can be far easier to get an idea of your future benefits, and there'll be fewer charges and less paperwork to worry about, too. The research found that 67% of people would be interested in consolidation, yet it looks as though the benefits of doing so need to be more clearly highlighted, as while 30% thought there were benefits to doing so, 43% said they would need further information before they could decide.
"There can be benefits to consolidation as many older-style pensions often have complex or more expensive charges," continued Kate. "They are also unlikely to offer access to the new range of pension freedoms or give access online. However, it's important people take time to understand the pros and cons of consolidation and are clear on whether it's right for them."
This process could be made easier in the future with the launch of a pensions dashboard in 2019, designed to allow you to see all your pensions in one place – including your state pension – to get a better idea of your future finances.
It's hoped that the launch dashboard will "simplify the process of finding lost pensions" and "make it simpler to consolidate," said Kate, but you don't need to wait until then to get in control of your pensions. Start the process by reading our guide on how to track down a lost pension, and if you're starting to think seriously about your retirement options, make sure to seek suitable advice. Our no obligation annuity planner could be a great place to start.
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