According to the Department of Work and Pensions, 12.5 million people are not saving enough to maintain the same standard of living when they retire. 

With £26.6 billion currently sat in lost, ‘ghost’ pensions in the UK, efforts continue across the industry to encourage people to track down old, forgotten pension funds, which could make all the difference to their quality of life in retirement.

Feel-good nostalgia is one approach — with ’80’s TV presenter Timmy Mallett fronting this year’s ‘Pay Your Pension Some Attention’ campaign. He’s calling on people in the UK to cast their minds back, and retrace career steps to help recover lost pension pots.

Timmy Mallett
Childhood favourite, Timmy Mallett.

“I suspect people in their thirties often think about their pension and feel they don’t need to engage, assuming it’s something to address as you approach stopping work. But trust me, careers aren’t linear, and you might wake up one morning and suddenly you’re 55 and you go, crikey, what happened there? 

The campaign points people to the ‘The Pensions Playback’, where they can take simple steps to identify where they are on their “pension journey” and ultimately set themselves up for the future.

People are losing track of pensions through frequent job changes, disengagement from the workforce, and house moves which lead to paperwork and statements going astray.

Data from the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) reveals that since 2018, the value of lost pension pots in the UK has risen by 37.7%, or around £7 billion. 

“As an industry, we have an important role in lifting savers’ understanding and confidence of their pensions,” says Joe Dabrowski, Deputy Director of Policy, PLSA.

Tracking down lost pension

Today, the tools and resources to help us understand where our pensions are, what we want to be investing in, and how much we need to live well in retirement — are more accessible and engaging than ever.

Through industry supported partnerships, digital campaigns and initiatives like #PensionAttention, Pensions Awareness, and National Pension Tracing Day, much-needed guidance and information is reaching and educating younger audiences.

Pensions amid a cost of living crisis

The current cost of living crisis creates further challenges for pensions, and the implications are already being felt across a wide range of industries. This week, it was reported that more than 750,000 NHS staff have pulled out of the NHS pension scheme — an increase of 67% over the past four years — as workers try to make ends meet.

The impact the cost of living crisis is having on pension provision, and the social and environmental benefits pensions investments can bring, are just some of the topics explored in ITN Business’ news-style programme, Pensions at Work 100, produced in partnership with the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), to mark the 100th anniversary of the PLSA.

The programme will look at how savers can achieve a better income in retirement, and feature exclusive interviews with the PLSA’s Chief Executive Julian Mund, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Nigel Peaple, PLSA Chair Emma Douglas, and others.

Watch the full programme here.