The Pensions Dashboard has been in the news this month.
The idea of a central register of all pensions has been widely supported for many years as an obvious advantage to pension savers. Over a career, it is very easy to forget or lose track of legacy pensions. This is particularly the case because very few pension providers have the same name or are part of the same group of companies as they were 20 years ago. Millions go unclaimed every year.
A central register would show every old pension and perhaps also a link into the State Pension, thereby giving people some inkling of what they might have in their pot now and therefore at least a clue toward how much they might have by the time they look to retire.
Unfortunately the Government is a bit busy at present and has also questioned whether this should be paid for by the pension industry. This is not unreasonable as the Government has created a system where providers collect tax incentives for taking in premiums on which the industry then charges fees. Predictably, providers are not rushing to agree.
So, what can you do?
The starting point is to gather up your dusty old pensions and make sure the providers know where you live. Register where possible for any website access.
If you do not have any current information or a place to start, you could try the Pension Tracing Service.
Once you have the information you could then consider consolidating into a modern contract where it makes sense to do so – modern contracts tend to be cheaper and more flexible than older schemes. This is a minefield and advice should be sought to make sure you do not fall foul of an old contractual technicality or penalty; or lose valuable guarantees.