How to find old pensions

How to find pensions in the UK, what a policy reference number is, how to find lost pensions, and transferring pensions

Trying to track down your old pensions? You've come to the right place. Here's how to find pensions in the UK, step by step.

How to find my pension

Trying to find all your pensions can be a little like finding a needle in a haystack. This is especially true if you have many pots from different pension companies. Our research tells us that as a nation, we underestimate the value of our pensions by up to 33%. That means you could be sitting on more money than you realise!

Thankfully, these days unearthing all your old pension is easier than ever. To get started, you'll just need a few bits of information to hand.

What you'll need

So, you’re looking to find a pension from years ago, where do you start? The answer comes down to a few bits of information.

  • The name of your old employer
  • The name of your old pension provider
  • Your policy reference number

If you have this information, you’re all set! Simply get in touch with your pension provider and they’ll be able to let you know how you can check in on your pension pot. Not sure about your details? Don't worry, you'll just need to do a little extra digging. The key is your policy reference number.

What is a pension policy reference number?

The key to finding all your pensions is the pension policy reference number. You may also see this referred to as a pension number or customer reference number. This is a unique 16-digit string of letters and numbers that helps your provider track your pension. If you have this, perhaps from an old letter or email from your pension provider, you should have no problem tracking down your pension.

Your policy number is a unique 16 digit code that helps identify your pension.

If you don't know your policy number, all is not lost! Here’s how you can track down your lost pension pots.

How to find lost pensions (when you don't know the details)

If you don’t know your pension number, you can track everything you need down in a number of ways.

If you have a Penfold pension, you're in luck. That’s because you can use our "Find My Pension" service to help you track down any lost or forgotten pots. All you need is the name of your old employer. Sign in and hit "Transfer Your Pension", then "Find My Pension" to get started. We'll give you everything you need to retrieve the details from your old pension provider.

If you're not a Penfold saver, then you may have to play detective. First, you’ll need to find out who your pension provider is. Here are 3 tricks you can try.

  1. Use the government’s pension tracing service: The government have built a free, online pension tracing service to help you hunt down old workplace pensions. Simply type in your old employer’s name into the search box. If no options appear, then move on to step 2.
  2. Search 'pension' in your email inbox: Check your email inbox and trash to see if your provider has sent you any emails about your policy. This could be an annual statement, policy document or even a summary of your contributions. Still no luck? Try step 3.
  3. Call your old employer: If the pension was provided by a previous job, call or email your old HR department and ask where your old workplace pension was set up. You'll only need to know when you worked there and your National Insurance number. They'll be able to confirm the name of your pension provider.

Now all that's left to find is the policy reference number. Simply give your provider a call and tell them your name, the name of your employer, and your National Insurance number. Once you’ve gone through their security questions, they should be able to give you your pension number.

Transferring your pensions

Once you've gathered all of your old pension details, you may want to combine them into a single pension plan. There are many benefits of doing this, including lower fees and easier tracking and management of your finances.

Many pension providers offer a transfer service and can organise everything for you. Just be careful as some may charge a fee for this. For more on this, check out our article on how to transfer a pension.

Combine pensions with Penfold

Penfold can transfer all your pensions completely free - no matter how many you have, how small they are, or what provider you’re with. We streamline the entire process to make transferring a doddle. It's entirely online, requires no paperwork, and should only take 5 minutes. If you want to transfer existing pensions to Penfold, simply create an account and request a transfer today.

As with all investments, your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest.

Get started in 5 minutes

1. Get a Penfold account by registering your details online or with our app.

2. Transfer an existing pension, or make a one-off or recurring payment (pause or adjust any time).

Done! Check savings progress, change investment plan and more with our app or online dashboard.

Get started now