2. Checking if you have lost pension funds
Do you believe you have lost track of a pension? With millions of pounds left unclaimed in lost pensions you could be right. But how do you know?
Is it lost?
This is the first important question you need to ask yourself. Whether it is a personal pension or a workplace pension that you think you may have lost or lost track of, just because you may have found some paperwork indicating that you did have one, it does not always mean you still have an entitlement.
This is because you may have had a refund of contributions. This is a common occurrence when you leave an employer and have only been in a workplace scheme for a short time. For workplace pensions there are several key dates that you need to be aware of that may help you ascertain whether you may have a lost workplace pension.
If you left your employer before 1975: You will almost certainly have received a refund of your pension contributions. If you did not pay into the pension scheme, then the chances are you will not be entitled to anything. The only exception to this will be if you worked there for a considerable time, usually over 15 years.
If you left your employer between April 1975 and April 1988: You may have a pension if you were over the age of 26 and had completed over 5 years' service. If not, it is almost certain that you would have received a refund of your pension contributions and you will not now be entitled to anything.
If you left your employer after 1988: You may be entitled to a pension, as long as you completed over two years’ service for your employer. If you left that employment before completing two years, you will almost certainly have been given a refund of your pension contributions.