Future-proofing society

Reuniting customers with their DB pensions

Dave Poulton our Chief Customer Officer on LGRI’s pension tracing and how the team is reuniting customers with their lost pensions.

20 Jan 2023

Meet our experts

Dave Poulton

Chief Customer Officer

Legal & General Institutional Retirement

Successful pension tracing has the power to change people's lives. Recent research from the PPI's Lost Pensions Survey 2022 showed that the value of lost pension pots has increased by £7 billion in just four years to £26.6 billion. This is an astounding number and I know from first-hand experience how powerful reuniting people with lost pension pots can be.

We’ve had some fantastic stories about people being completely overjoyed when we contact them. One of our customers said she would have been none the wiser had my team at Legal & General not helped her track down a £67,450 lump sum. Another couple said it felt like they had won the lottery when they were reunited with a forgotten £4,577 pension pot.

While these can be some of the most heart-warming interactions that we have with our customers, there remains much work to do across the pensions industry. The same PPI survey identified there are 2.8 million pots in the UK that are considered estranged. 

Tracing defined benefit pensions

Although much less commonly available nowadays than defined contribution pensions, many defined benefit (DB) pension schemes put in place insurance arrangements to secure their members’ retirement income. In this scenario, the insurance company becomes responsible for paying pensions, as well as the ongoing administration and customer service. Legal & General looks after more than half a million people with DB pensions.

We have defined benefit pensions on our books dating back to the 1960s so it’s understandable that some members might have lost touch with their money. People often lose track of their pensions due to a change of address, lost paperwork, or not realising they had one.

In 2022 we re-connected more than 22,000 people to their DB pension.

How do we trace lost pensions? 

We write to customers from age 50 in five-yearly intervals to remind them about their pension, and in two-yearly intervals after age 78 to encourage customers to take their benefits.

We also have a dedicated team that proactively identify customers who may have lost contact with us or their previous employer, or who still need to complete payment instruction forms.

Each month our team run automated traces to identify customers who have reached various milestones in their life. Our teams carry out robust verification checks to protect pensioners' data and financial security. In total, we send out around 14,000 letters to customers monthly.

What to do if you think you have lost your pension? 

If you’re trying to track down a pension you may wish to use the government’s free Pension Tracing Service.

For more information on how to find your old pensions, visit the National Pension Tracing Day website.

Our Retail Retirement business also offers pension tracing services available to anyone with a Legal & General Personal Pension and through most Legal & General workplace pension schemes. This tracing service searches for your pensions and contacts providers on your behalf to find out the details of your pots. Visit the Pension Tracing page.

Legal & General is committed to ensuring customers are protected from fraud. For more information on how to protect yourself visit the scams page