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Money Matters: It’s time to be proactive about your pension

Read the latest column from Jason Moss, an Altrincham-based Independent Financial Adviser.

In his latest column for Altrincham Today, Jason Moss, an Altrincham-based Independent Financial Adviser at Harvest Associates, says a growing number of clients are wanting to help their children or grandchildren during their lifetimes.

It’s unlikely that you would forget about cash in your bank, so why ignore your pensions?

According to the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI), in 2022 there was c. £26.6bn* of funds lost in UK pensions (either unclaimed, neglected or forgotten). This figure is staggering!

Do you have sight of all your pensions?

It’s time to be proactive. As with most admin tasks they often get overlooked especially when we change jobs or move house, but that’s when you start to lose track of savings that you have accumulated over time. I get it, pensions are by nature hard to understand (but shouldn’t be), governments add to the complexity by changing rules and legislation regularly.

Start by making a list of your pensions/providers or the name of a company you previously worked for if you can’t find any information for the said scheme. If you’re unable to find information for a particular pension, the government has a service to assist with tracking down historical pensions (

What am I invested in and why is this important?

Once you’ve tracked down your pensions, you (or get a financial adviser to do this for you) need to establish what you’re invested in and understand why. The ‘what’ and ‘why’ are crucial to ensuring that the investments within your pensions are aligned to your long-term goals or retirement.

Numerous workplace pensions have outdated investment strategies that were based on the retirement options that were available at the time. These are not always appropriate given the increased options that you now have available to you for taking income in later life.

For example, your scheme could be de-risking each year as you get closer to the scheme’s retirement date. The idea behind this was that by the time you got to retirement you would be invested in assets that were ‘in theory’ the least volatile and then you would use your pension pot to purchase an annuity. 

If you’re unable to find information for a particular pension, the government has a service to assist with tracking down historical pensions

This can be a fantastic solution to providing a retirement income for the right individual, however since pension freedoms you have the option to draw from your pension flexibly throughout your lifetime. Depending on the strategy taken, it is important to have the right asset mix, ensuring that your pension can sustain your income needs throughout your lifetime. 

Your appetite for risk is important too and should form part of a wider conversation when deciding on a suitable investment strategy. This may not have been a conversation you had when you were enrolled into your historical workplace pension scheme. 

It is important that your pension’s investments are monitored, some funds have really struggled over the last couple of years in which we have experienced increased geo-political tensions, high interest rates and high inflation. It’s imperative that your funds are looked at to ensure your pension’s investments are working as hard as they can be for you.

Establish whether your pension scheme offers the full suite of retirement options (how you draw from them) and what would happen in a worst-case scenario. Do you know what happens to your pension upon death and who would benefit (have you named a beneficiary and is this up to date)?. These are all things that your adviser can assist with.

What’s next?

If you don’t have a clear strategy for achieving financial freedom or the retirement of your dreams, don’t leave it until it’s too late. Take action now, as financial advisers, we can help you understand what your future looks like. 

*Source: PPI (2022) Lost pensions 2022: What’s the scale and impact?

To contact Jason or for more information, email, call 07703 341 285 or visit

Harvest Associates is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA registered number is 629749. The value of your investments and the income from them may go down as well as up, and you could get back less than you invested.