Whether your career journey has taken you through various employers or led you to explore diverse professions, the likelihood is that you might have more than a single pension along the way. It’s important to monitor all your pension accounts in order to secure a stable and well-funded retirement. In simpler terms, tracing your pensions can potentially help you retire with more money.
Pensions are a vital aspect of retirement planning, and it’s not uncommon for individuals to lose track of their pension contributions or for the management of their occupational pension to change without prior notification. Pension tracing assists you in identifying your pension accounts, evaluating their worth, and making informed choices about your retirement income.
What is Pension Tracing?
Pension Tracing involves locating lost or forgotten pension payments made by you or your employer in previous employment. This can give you a comprehensive view of your retirement savings and allow effective future planning.
It is estimated that there are more than €400 million in unclaimed pension benefits that should have been transferred into estates but remained unclaimed because they were not registered in the individual’s name at the time. These unclaimed pensions represent a significant sum of money that individuals are entitled to but have not yet accessed.
Click below to listen to our CEO, Shane Tobin, talking about Pension Tracing on Ireland’s Classic Hits Radio.
Eligibility for Pension Tracing
Pension tracing is applicable to individuals who’ve navigated multiple employments throughout their careers, each offering distinct pension schemes. Regardless of whether you’ve worked part-time, full-time, or pursued a self-employed path, the benefits of pension tracing are within your reach.
4 Benefits of Tracing Your Pension
Recover Lost Money
When you start looking for old pensions, you may discover funds you had forgotten about, turning a financial blind spot into a valuable asset. In certain cases, you might even be eligible to cash in a 25% tax-free lump sum you never knew existed.
Combine your pensions and assume control over them
Through pension tracing, customers can potentially consolidate all of their retirement assets into a single account for simpler management and supervision. It simplifies the process for profitable and effective retirement planning.
Increase Retirement Income
With a comprehensive overview of your pension funds in hand, you’re equipped to make informed decisions about savings and investment options, annuities, and alternative retirement income streams. This informed approach can potentially maximise your overall retirement income.
Accessing Additional Benefits
Rediscovering old pensions could unlock additional benefits tied to those schemes. These might include early retirement options, inflation-linked annuities, or other incentives that can boost your retirement income.
How to find your lost or forgotten pensions
Assemble details about your former pensions, including employer names, employment periods, and your Personal Public Service (PPS) number. Annual pension statements from past providers can also be invaluable sources of information.
Contact Previous Employers and Providers
If you’re uncertain about your pension provider, reach out to your previous employers to enquire about the pension schemes associated with your employment. If you have provider details, provide them with relevant information, such as plan numbers and date of birth, to help in locating your records.
Expert Assistance from True Wealth
If you have difficulties with the pension tracing process, our financial advisors can offer valuable guidance. Not only can they locate all your pensions, but they can also potentially consolidate them into an effective retirement plan.
True Wealth Pension Tracing Process
Our pension tracing service shortens the time-consuming process of tracing and consolidating pensions. Through meticulous research and effective communication with numerous pension providers, we make the process seamless and efficient for you.
1. Finding Lost or Forgotten Pensions: By providing pertinent information and supporting documents about your employment history and pensions, we initiate the tracing process.
2. Holistic Pension Review: Our Financial Advisors will thoroughly review your pensions, ensuring you’re well-informed about your funds and the diverse solutions available.
3. Informed Pension Advice: Equipped with insights about your pensions, we guide you in making educated decisions concerning retirement income, consolidation possibilities, and investment strategies.
4. Ongoing Vigilance: Your pension funds remain monitored by us, with periodic reviews and adjustments to investment strategies while keeping you updated on any new opportunities.
What do I need to do if I discover my old pensions?
Locating forgotten pensions isn’t the end; it’s a new beginning. You can decide what to do with the pensions you’ve lost track of once you find them.
Leave your pension where it is
Leave your pension funds within the existing scheme, allowing them to grow until your chosen retirement age.
Transfer to a new employer’s scheme
If your new job comes with its own pension scheme, consider transferring your savings for active control over your pension pot.
Transfer into a Personal Retirement Bond (PRB)
PRB offers investment flexibility and may give you access to extra benefits including different retirement age alternatives, the ability to withdraw a lump sum of money tax-free as soon as you turn 50, or more investment options. It is advisable to discuss it with our team of specialists as some PRBs may have higher fees than your current pension plan.
If you’re unsure of what to do with your old pension, we can guide you by taking into consideration your financial circumstances and retirement objectives.
I recently discovered an old pension fund. Can I withdraw money from my pension fund before I retire?
In certain situations, you may be able to access your pension funds as early as age 50. If you have ever paid into an occupational scheme and have left your job or changed employment, you may be entitled to take a 25% tax-free lump sum up to €200,000. However, this will depend on the regulations of your pension plan.
For expert guidance, speak with one of our financial advisors. Based on your unique situation, your desired outcomes, and the most up-to-date information regarding pension legislation.
Trace your pension with True Wealth
We, at True Wealth, understand pension tracing is essential in assisting people in securing their financial future by tracking down their pension funds. We have the necessary expertise and resources to navigate complicated pension landscapes and assist you in making wise retirement planning decisions.
If you want to find your old pensions and ensure a stable retirement contact us; we can guide you throughout the whole pension process.
Learn more by reading our blog where we discuss the 10 common retirement planning mistakes to avoid.
Additionally, you can get useful guidance on How to set financial goals for your future in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s.