Pensions passport ‘time has come’

Commenting on the possibility of the introduction of a ‘pensions passport’ to help individuals keep track of their pension pots, Malcolm McLean, says:

Keeping track of all your pension plans is undoubtedly a growing problem.

Long gone are the days when most people worked all their lives for one employer and had a single pension arrangement which gave them a pension at retirement to be drawn at the same time as their state pension.

Nowadays with perhaps three or more job changes and engagement with a multiplicity of pension products and schemes over the course of a working life it is hardly surprising that those approaching retirement have difficulty remembering exactly what their accumulated pension is and how and where they can get their hands on it.

The idea of a pensions passport, a document that would hold information on all of a person’s pension policies has much to commend it and should be developed.  Obviously setting this up and collecting all the data together in the first place would be challenging but would pay dividends in the longer term.  This, together with the automatic transfer of small pension pots (pot-follows-member) would not only help people keep track of their policies but would help them search for lost policies.  It would also prompt them to think of their future pension planning and options for retirement – particularly relevant in the wake of the new pension freedoms and greater choices soon to be made available.

Clearly the time has come for the idea of pensions passports to become a reality.  The days when pension papers and other related documents were kept on a shelf or at the back of a desk drawer (or worst of all were not kept at all) should be put behind us and better and more sophisticated methods of information storage brought into use for the benefit of all concerned.

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