What is a pension?
Pensions are a long-term investment. The retirement benefits you receive from your pension plan will depend on a number of factors including the value of your plan when you decide to take your benefits which isn't guaranteed, and can go down as well as up. The value of your plan could fall below the amount(s) paid in.
The Government will normally give you tax relief that helps increase the value of your plan. If the basic rate of tax is 20%*, for every £80 you pay into your plan each month, the Government will automatically top up your pension with an additional £20. If you are a higher or additional rate taxpayer, you may be able to claim additional tax relief via your annual tax return.
* If you are a Scottish taxpayer the tax relief you will be entitled to will be at the Scottish Rate of income tax, which may be different from the rest of the UK in the future.
A State Pension is the amount that’s given to you by the Government and is based on your National Insurance contributions (NICs) record. You’re entitled to it when you reach your State Pension age and it will continue until you die.
Read more on the different types of pensions at the Money Advice Service.
Find a lost pension
House moves. Career moves. Busy families. Life changes fast and it’s easy to lose track of your pension pots. Pension providers will send you a statement every year, but if you’ve moved house and not told them, it’s unlikely that you will have received them.
Finding a lost pension may be as easy as making sure your pension providers have your correct address. Otherwise, there are a few things you can do.
- If you can remember the provider of your lost pension, call them and they’ll help you directly.
- If you don’t remember the provider, but do know who you worked for when you paid into the pension, call the company.
- If you don’t know the details of either the provider or the company associated with your lost pension, contact the Pension Tracing Service who may be able to help and may charge for this.