A recent study by insurance company Aviva has revealed that 13% of Brits only remembered they had a pension pot once reminded by the surveyors.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, this equates to around £400 million in unclaimed pension savings.

It’s within your best interests to unearth any lost pension schemes as you settle into retirement. Even if you’re unsure this applies to you, it’s well worth checking out to make sure.

Here at Neil Smith Accountancy, we can assess your pension history and find out if you’re owed a financial sum. For more information, please feel free to get in touch today.

Aviva Survey

The Aviva survey asked 9,910 people if they had any pension pots, and if so, if they’d forgotten about them. A surprising 1 in 8 of respondents admitted this was the case, meaning 2.5 million pension schemes may be lying in wait across the UK.


Out of those who responded in this manner, 77% believed they’d forgotten one pension pot, 17% claiming two had been overlooked and the rest saying they’d neglected a staggering three or more.

Interestingly, a similar Aviva study showed that over half of Brits are worried about their financial stability come retirement. With this in mind, utilising the services of a professional accountants to discover outstanding pension pots will help alleviate these concerns.   

How are Pensions ‘Lost’?

The main reason for forgetting a pension plan comes when people change jobs. It’s said the average retiree over 65 has been employed by six companies during their life – because of this, you can see how some work pension schemes are overlooked.

Another explanation is that Brits are moving house on a more frequent basis, especially in relation to rented accommodation. This makes it increasingly likely that important pension documents are lost, as well as people forgetting to update contact details with pension providers.

However, the phasing in of auto-enrolment will soon make pension saving far easier. By 2018, employers will have to automatically enrol eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme unless they opt out.

It’s the expected success of this digital transformation that’s encouraged a joint effort by the government and pension industry to create a new ‘pensions dashboard’.  

Business agreement handshake at coffee shop

Dashboard Prototype

The thinking behind the dashboard is to create a new online platform where users can view and manage all their pension details in one place. Monthly and annual income can be viewed at a glance, helping users plan for their retirement more effectively.

The Aviva survey highlights the importance of this new venture. With so many pension pots forgotten about, millions of pounds are going unclaimed by retired citizens. The new dashboard will allow users to unearth and visualise old pension pots, no matter how many jobs or private schemes you’ve taken out.

However, the development is only at the prototype stage (with full release scheduled in 2019.) This means tracking old pensions manually is still required for now, something we’re able to assist you with here at Neil Smith Accountancy.


The self-employed are often particularly concerned about retirement and prone to forget about previous pension pots. If you’re self-employed, check out how you can afford to retire.