More than £56 million of pension funds that had been previously lost or forgotten about by British expats were recovered for them last year, it has been revealed.

The deVere Group, which has over 80,000 mainly expat clients worldwide, says that it is only the tip of the iceberg and the true total of lost pensions could run into the hundreds of millions of pounds.

The independent advisory group explained that the shift in working culture, which has ended the ‘jobs for life’ scenario, has fuelled a growing lost pensions ‘black hole’ in general, but the problem is particularly acute amongst expats.


‘We’re thrilled that in 2013 alone we managed to track down over £56 million worth of misplaced retirement savings for our clients,’ said Reece Fallaize, deVere’s Global Technical Manager.

‘The average lost or forgotten pension pot was worth £52,000. No one wants to lose that amount of money, money that’s been prudently put away to be able to enjoy a full, active retirement,’ added Fallaize.

‘With a more transient lifestyle, expats are typically more susceptible to losing track of pension funds because not only are they more likely to be job mobile, but because they are also likely to have worked in several different countries over their careers,’ explained Fallaize.

Last year, in a global survey carried out by deVere Group, it was found that 36% of the 1,100 expats polled admitted to having lost track of pension savings over time.

‘Our work on pension recovery highlights how imperative it is that individuals, and perhaps particularly expats, consistently keep on top of personal finance admin throughout their lives,’ said Fallaize.

‘This is especially important nowadays because of the higher number of jobs we have over a lifetime, because it might be a long time before the pensions are accessed, and because we’re all living longer—meaning we need more retirement funds than ever before,’ he pointed out.

‘I would recommend that expats who feel that they have misplaced pensions contact an independent financial adviser with relevant cross border experience. They will be able to help track down those lost retirement savings,’ he added.