More people today are enrolled in a workplace pension scheme than ever before, thanks to auto-enrolment. Since 2018, it’s been a legal requirement for all employers to set up a workplace pension and enrol their employees into it, unless those employees choose to opt out.
This means that if you’ve had a job in the last few years, there’s a good chance you’ll have a workplace pension to go with it.
With the average millennial worker estimated to have 12 jobs over the course of their career, it’s no wonder keeping track of all your individual workplace pensions – or even knowing whether you had one – is hard. Did you know there are an estimated 1.6 million pension pots worth £19.4bn that have been forgotten as workers change jobs? If you’re not sure whether you have a forgotten workplace pension to track down, we have a few handy hints to point you in the right direction.
How to know if you have an old workplace pension
You’re more likely to have joined a workplace pension if:
You’ve been in work at some point since 2018
Good news! Unless you opted out of your workplace pension or didn’t meet the auto-enrolment criteria (see below), it’s very likely that you’ll have had or still pay into a workplace pension.
You worked in the public sector
There are specific public sector pensions set up for public sector employees, like NHS workers, civil servants, teachers and local government workers. These schemes tend to have very high enrolment rates across all ages and income brackets, so as a public sector employee there’s a good chance you would have joined your workplace pension scheme.
You worked for your employer after October 2012 and there were more than 50 employees
Auto-enrolment didn’t happen overnight, it was introduced in stages from October 2012. This means many workers would have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension well before the 2018 deadline. Large employers with staff in the tens of thousands were the first to offer auto-enrolment. By April 2015, many organisations with more than 50 workers would have had to automatically enrol eligible employees into a workplace pension and by April 2017 this extended to any employer that wasn’t labelled as “new” by the Pensions Regulator.
You were 22 or older and worked for more than three months with an annual salary of at least £10,000
This sounds a little complicated, but the rules mean you need to be at least 22 years old, working in the UK and earning more than £10,000 a year to be eligible for auto-enrolment. It doesn’t matter if you worked on a part-time or temporary basis, but employers do have the option to postpone enrolling workers into a workplace pension for up to three months. If you worked for three months or less, it’s possible that you won’t have been enrolled into your employer’s pension scheme even if you fit all the other criteria.
Following the guidance above should help you work out how likely it is that you previously joined a workplace pension scheme, but it’s not always possible to know for certain. Ultimately, the best way to know if you’ve got an old pension pot is to try to dig out any old paperwork confirming that you were enrolled into a pension scheme, or to get in touch with your previous employer and ask.
Bringing together old pots can be a great next step
Keeping track of old pensions can be tricky, especially if you’ve had multiple jobs. One of the best (and easiest) ways to feel more in control when it comes to your hard-earned money could be bringing those stranded pots together.
Moneybox makes it easy to find and combine your old pensions. We have a dedicated team of Pension Detectives and a range of in-app tools to help you track them down and combine them into one simple Personal Pension. You’ll be able to see exactly how much money you’ve got and where it’s being invested, all from within the Moneybox app.
Before getting started, you should know there are some cases where you won’t be able to transfer a pension to us:
You’re still working for your employer: If you’re still working for your employer and paying into your workplace pension, you won’t be able to move it to Moneybox until you’ve stopped contributing to it (usually after you change jobs).
You have guaranteed benefits in your pension: We also can’t accept transfers from pensions that come with valuable guaranteed benefits – which might be the case if you’ve worked in the public sector.
It’s also important to remember
When deciding whether to transfer your pension, it’s important to compare the charges and benefits between Moneybox and your old provider, and whether the risk and reward profile of the investments we offer matches your needs. As with all investing, the value of your pension can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. If you’re not sure whether the Moneybox Pension is right for you, a suitably qualified financial adviser can help you decide. Moneybox Personal Pension T&Cs apply.