Pension pot: How to check how much is in your pension pot
It is easy to lose count of how much money you have put in your pension pot, especially if your employer is contributing too. There are quick and easy ways to find out the grand total, though. Express.co.uk breaks down how to check how much is in your pension pot.
How to find out how much is in your pension pot
Your pension statement
Once a year you should get a pension statement.
Your provider may call this your annual or yearly statement.
It shows you how much is in your pot, and:
- an estimate of how much you might get when you start taking your money
- if your pension has any special features, e.g guaranteed annuity rate
- your ‘selected retirement age’ (the age you agreed with your provider to retire)
- the ‘transfer value’ of your pot – the amount you would get if you moved provider or cashed in your whole pot
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If you want to find an up-to-date figure, you may be able to check the amount in your pot online.
Many providers let you track your pension on their website.
You will have to log in to your online accounts, so have your password ready.
If your pension comes with an online account, you will be able to check your pension at any time like a regular bank balance.
Alternatively, you can look at your ‘wake-up’ pack to find out the magic number.
You get this from your pension provider between four and six months before your agreed pension age.
This is also known as your selected retirement age, and it is usually between 60 and 65.
If you’re less than four months away from your agreed pension age and haven’t yet received a wake-up pack, you should contact your pension provider.
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Contact your provider or providers
If you don’t have access to any of the above or have misplaced them, there is another way to find out.
You should contact your pension provider directly.
You can find their number online, or sometimes on other documents they have sent you.
You can track down the necessary statements by contacting one of the following three bodies:
- The pension provider
- The Pension Tracing service
- Your former employer if it was a workplace pension
If you have paid into more than one pot, you will need to contact each provider separately to find out how much is in each one.
You could combine your pots to make them easier to manage, but you may be charged fees.
If you have no idea which pensions you have paid into, you can find a lost pension here.
Follow the link and use the service to find contact details for your workplace or personal pension scheme, or someone else’s scheme.
What can I do with my pension pot?
There are six different ways you can take your defined contribution pension pot:
- Leave the whole pot untouched until you need it
- Guaranteed income (using the pot to buy an insurance policy that guarantees you an income for the rest of your life)
- Adjustable income (invest it to give you a regular income, deciding how much to take out and when)
- Take cash in chunks (take smaller sums from your pot until you run out)
- Take your whole pot in one go
- Mix your options (if you have a big pot, you can mix different options)
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