One in six adults have tried to trace their lost pension

  • Those who have been successful in their efforts have found pension(s) worth just over £6,000, on average
  • Nearly one in 10 (8%) know they have a missing pension but have not tried to trace it

As Pensions Awareness Week takes place in the UK, new research1 by Canada Life reveals that one in six (16%) UK adults have tried to trace a pension that has been lost or forgotten, with one in 10 (9%) having done so successfully.

Among those who have managed to find a lost pension, the average total was £6,351. Respondents were most likely to find a pension(s) worth between £1,000-£5,000 (24%), however nearly one in 10 (8%) traced pension(s) worth over £20,000.

Despite the cost-of-living crisis leaving a number of UK adults facing financial hardships, the research found that, worryingly, one in 10 (8%) know they have a missing pension but they have not tried to trace it. 

Andrew Tully, Technical Director at Canada Life, comments: “The lost pensions challenge in the UK has grown significantly in recent years, further exacerbated by the pandemic which resulted in a large proportion of people moving jobs. It remains a cause for concern for many, however our latest research highlights the importance of starting the search journey sooner rather than later. With successful respondents tracing over £6,000, on average, this amount can help boost people’s retirement pots, and can reduce reliance on the state pension and other benefits. After all, it’s your pension and there is no time limit to tracking down your money, so what have you got to lose?”

A recent Pension Policy Institute research briefing2 calculated the total value of lost pension pots has grown to £26.6 billion in 2022.

Top tips for finding a lost pension:

  1. With the launch of auto-enrolment in 2012, around 10m million people have begun to save for their futures through employer sponsored pensions. A new job means a new pension scheme. Remember to update all of your pensions with any changes of address
  2. Retain details for all of the pension schemes you’ve been enrolled in
  3. Get in touch with the government’s tracing service, a free service to help if you can’t find the details of an old pension scheme; you can also call the tracing service on 0800 731 0193
  4. Once you have found any missing pensions, research your next options, including consolidation which brings them all together in one place
  5. There may be valuable benefits attached to your pensions which you may lose if you consolidate, so always double-check and seek advice or speak to a financial adviser to make sure you make the right decision for you


Notes to editors

  1. Source: Research conducted by Opinium among 2001 UK adults between 25th October and 28th October 2022.
  2. Source:


Press enquiries should be directed to:

Amelia Graham at Vested, 07393 477057,

Paul Keeble, Canada Life, 07833 085387,

About Canada Life:

Canada Life is part of a group of companies controlled by Great-West Lifeco Inc., a diversified financial services holding company headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada. Through its subsidiary companies, Lifeco has operations in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Great-West Lifeco and its insurance subsidiaries have received strong ratings from major rating agencies.  Great-West Lifeco has over 30 million customers worldwide and £1.341 trillion assets under administration (as at 31 December 2021).

Canada Life Limited began operations in the United Kingdom in 1903 and looks after the retirement, investment and protection needs of individuals and companies alike. As well as providing stability and security through its individual contracts, Canada Life Limited has grown to become the leading provider of competitively priced group insurance solutions. Canada Life acquired Retirement Advantage on 3rd January 2018 for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition added over 30,000 retirement income and equity release customers and more than £2 billion of assets under management including a £1.5 billion block of in-force annuities to Canada Life.

Canada Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Canada Life International Limited and CLI Institutional Limited are Isle of Man registered companies authorised and regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Canada Life International Assurance Limited and Canada Life International Assurance (Ireland) DAC are authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Stonehaven UK Limited, trading as Canada Life, is a subsidiary of The Canada Life Group (U.K.) Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 05487702. Registered office: Canada Life Place, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 5BA.