Pension tracing enquiries soar

31 Mar 2014 | 08:31 am | 1 min. read

The number of people trying to trace lost pension pots has reached a four year high according to research by international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Research conducted by the firm has found that requests made to the Pensions Tracing Service (PTS) to assist in tracing lost pensions has risen from an average of 6,424 a month in 2010/11 to 11,785 in 2013/14 - an increase of 83%.

Carolyn Saunders, London Head of Pensions at Pinsent Masons said:

"The PTS is now helping over 100,000 people a year to trace their pensions.  While the vast majority of requests processed by the PTS are successful, these figures highlight  the burden created and brings into sharp focus  government proposals to introduce 'pot follows members' legislation whereby  pension schemes will automatically follow an employee when they change jobs. " 

"The days when people worked for the same company all their lives are long gone and new pension legislation is needed to reflect the UK's increasingly mobile workforce. People now hold several different jobs with different employers during their working lifetime. Over time they accumulate a number of different workplace pensions. It’s easily done to lose track of one or more of these pots, companies merging or being acquired, rebranding or failing to notify a provider of change of address can also make it difficult for former employees to locate their pensions. "

"The rise in PTS requests is good news and demonstrates that there is increased awareness of pension issues. With a record number of people facing inadequate retirement income* the need to keep track of your pension is greater than ever.

"The introduction of auto enrolment will go someway toward addressing the pension crisis facing the UK but until 'pot follows members' legislation comes into force in 2015 it will probably also lead to a further rise in PTS requests ."

It is thought that more than a million pensions worth £3bn have been abandoned in dormant accounts and the Government estimates that by 2050 there will be 50 million dormant accounts worth £757bn**.

It is therefore important that individuals seize the initiative themselves, not least because one in six people claim to have no idea where their pension is saved, according to the PTS.



Financial year


PTS requests to trace occupational and personal pensions

Average per month
























Key Contacts

Carolyn Saunders

Carolyn Saunders

Partner, Head of Office, London and Head of Pensions & Long-Term Savings

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