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Finding a Lost Pension - The Daily Telegraph, 25th April 2024

Jason Explains How You Might Be Able to Use HMRC to Help You Locate Lost Pensions - With Esther Shaw At The Daily Telegraph



The original article was published in Telegraph Money on 25th April 2024, but is only available to Daily Telegraph subscribers. As part of our mission to empower as many people as possible to make better financial decisions, we have published below all the information Jason shared with them, so you get the maximum benefit from it (not just from what was published).

 

WHAT WAS SERPS?

 

The State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) operated between 1978 and 2002. It was then replaced by the State Second Pension (S2P), which stopped in 2016.

 

This allowed you to build up additional state pension based on your employed earnings, over and above your basic state pension.


CONTRACTING OUT


It was possible to “contract out” of SERPS either through an employer pension or through a personal one that you set up yourself. What this meant was that rather than building up this extra earnings-related pension via the state pension system, some of your National Insurance contributions were paid into your pension scheme each year. The idea was that this might build into a pot that would give you a better and more flexible retirement income than if you had remained in SERPS.

 

As you wouldn’t have been contributing money from your personal bank account each year, it’s the sort of pension that some people might have lost track of, particularly if they had moved house a few times and correspondence was being sent to an old address.


HOW TO TRACK DOWN YOUR PENSION SAVINGS


If you are under State Pension age you can check your state pension forecast and if you had been contracted out at any point in your career, your forecast will include a ‘Contracted-Out Pension Equivalent’ estimate.

 

If you think you were contracted out and are unsure where the money went, you can write to HMRC (include your National Insurance number and other identifying information such as address and date of birth) to ask for details of any pension providers that your contracted out contributions went to. You will then need to write to those pension providers to find out more.


PREVENTION IS THE BEST CURE


It's a good reminder that if you move house or get married or divorced, you should make sure that your pension, investment and insurance providers have your new contact details. If you’ve had multiple jobs, keep accurate records to ensure that you are clear on all previous pensions so that you don’t lose track of any.


GET IN TOUCH

 

If you would like to discuss anything raised in this article, or any other help you need to plan your own financial future, please call us for a free consultation on 020 3488 9505.



The value of your investments can go down as well as up, so you could get back less

than you invested.

Tax and Estate planning is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


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