Losing track of a pension can be easier than you might think. People misplace their paperwork, change addresses without informing their provider, or find out that their pension provider was purchased by another company and rebranded years ago. This is something a large share of UK adults will have to deal with at some point or other.
The Pensions Policy Institute estimates that 62% of UK adults have multiple pension pots, among which 21% of these – more than 6.6 million adults – are aware of having lost at least one. The potential aggregate value of all of these lost pots stands at £19.4 billion.
In a post-lockdown world, people’s priorities have changed when it comes to their work-life balance. More emphasis is being placed on opportunities that offer greater flexibility than a 9-to-5 return to the office.
So, with people changing jobs more than ever, and auto-enrolment meaning each employer must offer a workplace pension, this trend of lost or forgotten pensions is very likely to increase. This is where pension consolidation can help.
Why you should consolidate your pensions
Even the experienced investor, who’s confident of keeping up with all of their pension schemes, can benefit from consolidation. You can cut down on admin stress, potentially lower your ongoing fees, and even get access to certain pension freedoms not currently offered in your existing schemes.
Removing complexity and adding more transparency to your pension savings can allow you to focus on the important questions in life. From “when is it likely I can afford to retire?”, to “how much additional savings do I need to reach my goals?” Having a clearer picture today can make for an easier tomorrow – reducing the chances of any nasty surprises around the corner.
For those approaching retirement, not only does consolidating provide clarity and peace of mind, it can also help you manage your drawdown more effectively. Getting all your pension pots in one place means you can see your savings and cash out all from one platform. This can potentially save you countless hours going back and forth with paperwork for multiple providers.
How Moneyfarm can help
With investing, you can’t control how the markets will behave over time, but what you can influence is how much your costs add up over time. With the many different pricing structures between providers and the varying contribution fees or administration costs charged by others, it can be hard to keep track of the final figure.
According to the Department for Work & Pensions, in its Pension Charges Survey 2020, fees for some workplace schemes can be as high as 0.92%. If you look across the market for a private pension, the charge could be above 1%. By consolidating your pensions into a low-cost alternative, you could get more back for your retirement, along with a clearer image of how your savings are invested and managed.
When it comes to managing your investments, you shouldn’t have to settle for the default solution offered by your employer. It can pay to take the proactive (yet simple) approach and have your funds actively managed by our expert portfolio managers. We’ll do the heavy lifting, from daily monitoring to adjusting your investments over time to reflect political and financial developments. Leave it to us, so you can focus on the things that you enjoy.
If you have any questions, we have a team of consultants at hand, via phone, email or live chat. If you want an update on your investments, you can check whenever it suits you through our website or the app. No more yearly statements and no more long telephone queues, being bounced around different departments to finally get the answer you’re looking for.
What is the process?
Thankfully, we’ve made the whole process simple. You can set up a pension in minutes, see exactly how much you’re paying, and send off for a digital pension transfer through our platform.
We’ll manage the transfer process for you free of charge, ensuring it’s as paperless – and frictionless – as possible. You’ll just need to know your current pension provider, account or reference number and estimated value. We’ve simplified the service so that mountains of paperwork are now a thing of the past.
If you need help tracking down a pension, GOV.UK’s Pension Tracing Service can help you find the contact details of your scheme. While their service can’t tell you exactly whether you have a pension or what its value is, it’s a good place to start if you’re trying to organise the various retirement funds you might have misplaced.
Other things to consider
Here, we‘ve covered a number of the possible benefits of being proactive and consolidating your pension schemes, but everyone’s personal circumstances are different. Moneyfarm can’t tell you whether or not you should consolidate and, in some cases, you may actually be better off staying with your existing provider.
You could be holding existing benefits or valuable guarantees that you may not want to lose. For example, some have a guaranteed annuity rate which is significantly higher than today’s, a larger allowance than the standard 25% tax-free lump sum or even a protected pension access age, which won’t increase over time.
For older legacy pensions, you could also be subject to a large exit penalty, such as a with-profits’s market value reduction and if it’s your existing scheme, your employer may only keep making their contributions to the company’s nominated scheme. This means that it probably makes more sense to wait until you leave the company before moving this across, so to ensure you retain their continued matching.
For many people, consolidating pensions can make life easier. The ability to view all your disparate pots in one place, monitor the fees you’re paying, and access it more easily when you need it can make a huge difference. If you want to see what a Moneyfarm pension could do for your retirement, check out the full breakdown of our service here.