Track down your lost pensions
Sep 07, 2012
Increasing job mobility risks creating a “lost generation” of pensions, says Joanna Robinson on Thisismoney.co.uk. Research by insurer Prudential suggests 76% of people have “no idea of the value of the company pension pots they have built up over their careers”.
An estimated £3bn now lies unclaimed in forgotten pension pots, either because employees forget about them when changing jobs or assume their old employer will switch the pot for them. When you change jobs, get an up-to-date pension valuation and file it carefully. If you have lost all records of a previous pension, try contacting the Pension Tracing Service (telephone: 0856-600 2537).
• “Fewer than one in ten people over 30 have never owed any money to anyone,” according to research quoted by Rosie Murray-West in The Daily Telegraph. Even after stripping out mortgages, eight in ten of us are indebted. The message for those who take on unsecured debt is keep interest payments as low as possible. Avoid most store cards, high-interest credit cards and short-term payday loans.
• First-time buyers struggling to get a mortgage were offered a lifeline by HSBC this week. Its 4.49% seven-year fixed-rate deal comes with no up-front fee and is available with a deposit of just 10% of the value of the property. However, there are catches: if you need to get out before the seven-year lock-in period ends the exit penalties are steep. As The Guardian’s Hiliary Osborne notes, HSBC is notoriously picky about who it will lend to.
• September is the biggest month for car sales as 100,000 private buyers expected to drive away newly registered “62” vehicles, says Melanie Wright in The Sunday Times. But beware of overpaying for any finance you need. For example, both the Sainsbury’s Low Rate credit card (APR 6.9%) and the Derbyshire BS leading personal loan (5.8%) beat Ford’s three year 7.9% finance deal on a £14,000 car.