Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has warned that thousands of Britons have a ‘secret pension’ that they don’t know exists.
During an interview on This Morning, the personal finance expert told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that some people are missing out on thousands of pounds because they’ve
contributed to pensions they’ve now forgotten about.
He said: “People move jobs, they forget what they had, they’re not sure they had a workplace pension, someone dies with an open pension and they haven’t put down who their dependents are when they die and it’s just sitting there.
“Someone got in touch with me recently and said they found a £21,000 pension. This is not going to be uncommon. There is so much money in lost pensions out there.
“People ask me ‘I have four pensions I don’t understand, I don’t know what to do with them’, and as soon as you get told ‘I don’t understand’ that translates very well to forgotten or lost.”
In 2014, Money Saving Expert told how one person uncovered £39,000 in a lost pension. Lance Morton, from Leicester, discovered £38,755 of lost funds in three pension plans.
Mr Morton had set one personal pension policy in 1995 and paid into it each month. He lost his job a few years later and subsequently stopped making repayments. During a house move, he lost paperwork relating to the pension. He also forgot about two other pension plans he’d set up at various points in his career.
He used the Government’s free Pension Tracing Service and 10 days after making an application, the Department of Work and Pensions contacted him to inform him of the three missing pensions.
According to the Pension Tracing Service, one in five people who use the service find lost money and it can take just a matter of weeks to retrieve it. Lost pensions can also be found by contacting the pension provider (if you know it), or asking former employers.