Around 250,000 expat pensioners are missing out on as much as £850m in lost pension benefits simply because UK pension scheme trustees have been unable to trace them since they moved abroad.
The estimate comes from data collected by various pension searching companies which reveals that expats in South East Asia have unclaimed pension pots. The average amount owed in benefits ranges from £2,000 to £30,000 a year, with tax-free lump sums worth between £500 and £40,000 also left unclaimed.
It’s understandably very difficult and expensive for pension schemes to trace expats and surviving partners who are owed a pension using traditional UK-based tracing methods.
The new UK pensions legislation [which came] into force in April 2015 means expats over the age of 55 have the opportunity to turn annual pension pots into tax-free lump sums.
There are a variety of ways to trace a pension that has been lost, and you should always use a free service rather than paying to find money that you are owed. GMS Indonesia offer this as a free service to expatriates living in Indonesia.
While it may sound strange, losing track of a pension is easily done, as people tend to move around the jobs market far more frequently than might have been the case in the past, especially for expatriates.
Independent research suggests that the most common reason for losing track of a pension is when an individual leaves an employer and does not keep them informed of any future changes of address. Estimates suggest that there could be as many as 50m dormant and lost pension pots by 2050.
Source: The Telegraph