It’s not often you can bracket pensions in the “good news” section.
Before now, stories about pensions have, for a long time, had a reserved spot in the not-only depressing-but-complicated department.
So it’s pleasing to be able to relate how pensions, specifically tracking down those you may have forgotten about, represent a shaft of sunlight in our darkening world.
In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis that threatens to become a recession, finding money you didn’t know you had by spending a bit of time checking what pensions you may have held could bring a smile to anyone’s face – particularly if you are at the age where you can access your pension pot.
It’s the second year of the campaign we launched last year – National Pension Tracing Day. The premise that you spend the extra hour when the clocks go back on October 30th to check what pensions you have and where they are, remains the same.
But there’s nothing stopping you from checking now. We’ve framed it as a treasure hunt and, with an estimated £19.4 billion lying unclaimed, it certainly conjures up that picture. It’s thought some 1.6 million pension pots could be missing at an average of £13,000 each. That’s estimated to be as many as 1 in 30 adult people who could track down a lost or forgotten pension.
Job done, then?
Not quite. Although we have the backing of much of the pension and insurance industry, reaching millions of customers, people still have to overcome the “too complicated/depressing/don’t-want-to-think-about-it” tendency anything financial can invoke.
It’s why we’ve made a website to show people the simple steps they can take to track down money which could make a real difference. Every little helps during these times, especially for those who may be drawing their pension.
One of the difficulties in encouraging people to be more interested in their pension savings is that it can seem distant, mathematical and mechanical – one of the reasons we’ve likened it to a treasure hunt.
That’s because it’s a heartening story and stories resonate, which brings me to the central point I want to make. Have you been able to claim a pension with which you’d lost touch? Were you nudged by our campaign last year or by someone telling you about it? And did you like what you found?
If you have a story to tell, whether as an individual or an employer, we’d like to hear from you because it will encourage other people to do the same. And we want as many people as possible to take a peep into where a half-forgotten pension may be and what it could hold. We’ll enter them all into a draw to win £50 in Amazon vouchers.
Very little effort for what could be a worthwhile reward. Don’t wait until the clocks go back.