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Industry Insights
March 22, 2024

More than £50bn of pension savings ‘at risk of being left behind’

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Around one in 10 workers believe they could have lost a pension pot worth more than £10,000, with more than £50bn "at risk of being left behind", analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), on behalf of PensionBee, has found.

The research suggested that at least 4.8 million pension pots were considered to be ‘lost’ among the UK population in 2023.

This figure could "skyrocket" in future, as PensionBee's analysis showed that the number of pensions is set to increase by 130 per cent by 2050, from 106 million (at present) to 243 million by 2050.

This is due to more frequent job switching among younger workers and as a result of the ongoing impact of auto-enrolment, which has significantly increased workplace participation since its introduction in 2012.

Today’s youngest workers at age 18 are forecasted to accrue, on average, five pension pots by the age of 68.

Younger workers were more likely to believe they had lost a pension pot, at 25 per cent compared to 17 per cent for mid-career workers and 8 per cent for older workers, who, on average, had fewer pots to manage.

Smaller pots are also more at risk of being 'lost' as the survey found that pension pots worth less than £10,000, are more prone (13 per cent of UK workers) to being misplaced compared to larger ones (9 per cent).

Commenting on the findings, PensionBee’s director of public affairs, Becky O’Connor, stated: “The amount of money lost track of in old pensions is already eye-watering, with more than £50bn already at risk of being left behind, but is set to reach national crisis levels over the coming years, as the number of pots accumulated through work rises and with it, the number of lost pensions.

"This research suggests the problem of lost pots is growing more urgent every year. The government is working on a number of solutions to help solve it, including pension dashboards and new ‘pot for life’ proposals.

“For anyone who loses track of pensions, the result can, unfortunately, be a poorer retirement.

"It’s important to keep track of old paperwork, employer and pension provider names and policy numbers and if you would prefer to keep pensions together, consider consolidating them in one place.”

If you would like to know more about tracing your lost pensions, you can watch our latest video on the topic below:

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Matthew Sinclair (left) and Chris Breward (right), Chartered Financial Planners at Wealth of Advice