When the clocks go back, use the extra hour to trace lost pensions

Oct 28, 2021
If you’ve ever changed jobs, it’s likely that your Railways Pension Scheme pension is not your only pension. This Sunday 31 October is the first National Pension Tracing Day, where pension providers are coming together to encourage everyone to reclaim lost pension pots.


So when the clocks go back on Sunday, consider using your extra hour to trace the pension pots you may have lost track of.

It is estimated there are 1.6 million pension pots worth £19.4 billion - the equivalent of nearly £13,000 each - which have been lost or forgotten.

You don’t need to be a financial expert to find lost pensions. All it takes is a clear process and a bit of effort.

There are 3 simple steps. Before you start, read the guide on the National Pension Tracing Day website.

  1. Write down all the jobs you’ve ever had – check old CVs and take a trip down memory lane
  2. Search through all your paperwork for old pension papers or payslips
  3. Check the government’s free Pension Tracing Service - available online and over the phone (0800 731 0193). Other companies offer a similar tracing service but many charge a fee.

By spending a bit of time on pension tracing now, you could recover money that will help you fund the retirement you imagined.

6 other reasons to trace your lost pensions

  1. You may be able to combine old pension pots into one, making everything easier to manage and keep track of, although you should take advice before doing this.
  2. Depending on your age, it may be possible to immediately withdraw the funds and use them to help fund your retirement income needs.
  3. You could improve the investment strategy in your pensions so that you are not exposed to too much/little risk.
  4. Tracing a lost pension and completing a nomination of beneficiary form will allow you to pass a benefit on to your loved ones upon your death, which could be tax free.
  5. Many older pension plans do not offer online access – moving to a more modern pension may give you this facility.
  6. Pension providers charge to administer your pot. Finding your pension will give you the opportunity to see if you can reduce those charges.

What should I do once I’ve found lost pensions?

  • For every pension provider that you have a pension with, get in touch with them and make sure all the contact information they hold for you is correct. You should also log into your myRPS account and check the details we have are up to date.
  • Get financial advice - speak to an Independent Financial Adviser for guidance. Liverpool Victoria (LV) has been chosen as the official partner to give RPS members access to financial advice. LV can be contacted on 0800 023 4187. This service is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You can also visit MoneyHelper for free, impartial advice backed by the Government.
  • With help from your financial adviser, integrate all your pension pots into your retirement planning. If you are contributing to the RPS, you may be able to transfer benefits in from other approved pension schemes, however this is not allowed by many sections. To find out if you can transfer in please check your 'Member Guide', which is available in 'My Library' when you log into your myRPS account. If it is allowed according to your Section, you can complete a Transfer-in form.