Consolidating a number of small pension pots in to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme or QROPS for short, is a key objective of switching retirement savings offshore for many.
Collecting a number of smaller pensions together in one place cuts costs and gives more control over savings.
The benefits of pension consolidation become apparent when 70% of UK retirement savers do not now the collective value of their pension funds and 10% have no record of workplace pensions which hold money for them.
Another third of workers have no idea where important pension documents may be, according to a survey by pensions firm Friends Provident.
If you are consolidating a number of small pots in to a QROPS, here are some tips that will make the job easier:
- Make a list of your previous employers and see if you can track them down to ask about any pension funds they may hold for you
- Keep a list of pension details, like fund names, reference numbers, a statement of account, likely benefits and when payments are due to start
- Keep pension providers updated with current contact details
- If you cannot track down an employer, try the government’s free pension tracing service https://secureonline.dwp.gov.uk/tps-directgov/en/contact-tps/pension-tracing-form.asp
Colin Williams, of Friends Life, said: “This research shows people are not paying enough attention to their pensions. We believe that every year individuals are losing out on significant savings held within pension funds that they are unaware they have.
“It is imperative that people are aware of where their money is and what it is doing for them. Too often pensions are deserted and not considered properly before it’s too late. Making sure you are aware of the pensions you have, the amount you and your employer are paying, what charges there are and how much each pension plan is worth is essential for retirement planning.
“We always urge consumers to think about these factors long before you are approaching retirement.”