We understand that it can be concerning to receive a letter from an unknown company out of the blue, especially when they are requesting confirmation of your personal details, so we would like to take the time to answer some frequently asked questions which we hope will put your mind at rest.
Who are The Tracing Group?
The Tracing Group is a UK-based data management company appointed by pension providers and financial companies to trace individuals whose current contact details may not be on file. Based in Norfolk, UK, The Tracing Group is a small business employing a friendly team of researchers to find and reunite individuals with lost assets and assist financial companies with data management. To speak directly to a member of The Tracing Group team, call 01603 937800.
Why is this pension scheme/financial institution trying to find me?
The Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority require that organisations maintain entirely accurate information for their members and customers to keep them informed, updated and ultimately in receipt of the money that belongs to them.
If we are contacting you on behalf of a pension scheme, even if you are not of retirement age yet, the pension scheme is responsible for keeping you informed of your pension.
You mention a redress payment in the letter. How has this happened?
You may be due a one-off redress payment because, before you transferred your pension benefits, you had built up benefits in your former pension scheme between 17 May 1990 and 5 April 1997. Some of the help you built up during this time was Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP). GMP is different for men and women because it was linked to the State Pension, and State Pension Age used to be different for men and women.
Following a High Court ruling, all UK pension schemes are legally required to equalise members’ benefits where GMP built up between 17 May 1990 and 5 April 1997 is unequal for men and women. This is known as ‘GMP equalisation’. It applies to existing members of affected pension schemes and former members of affected schemes who, like you, have transferred out.
I have never heard of this pension scheme or company.
If the pension scheme or company mentioned in the letter does not sound familiar to you, please get in touch with us.
Many of the larger organisations we work for have taken over smaller ones, so they may now be represented under a different name.
If we are contacting you on behalf of a pension scheme, some pensions date back to the early 1960s or 1970s. They could also relate to employment you may have forgotten about or a scheme you were unaware you were enrolled on (such as a company-paid pension).
Why did you write to my relative?
Sometimes, we are either unable to trace the person we are looking for directly, or we have written to the person and received no response to our letters – in these instances, we will conduct basic genealogical research to try and locate a close relative who may be able to provide a forwarding address for the member (for example, if they have moved overseas).
At the Tracing Group, our researchers are passionate about reuniting individuals with their rightful assets, so this is just one of the ways we ensure every possible lead is explored.
Why do I need to confirm personal details such as my National Insurance Number?
When our research team update the company we are working for with current contact details, we must be sure that the details provided are for the correct person. To avoid sensitive information being sent to somebody inaccurately, requesting the National Insurance Number is one of the ways we can confirm this. However, this may not be necessary depending upon the information provided by the company we are working with. We may also ask for other details only the correct individual will likely know.
How did you find me?
Our team of professional researchers have access to a variety of databases which are all utilised within strict Data Protection guidelines. Our sources are publicly available (such as Electoral Rolls or birth, marriage, and death records) and paid-for services.
I am receiving correspondence from the pension scheme/financial organisation and my details have not changed. Why are you looking for me?
Automated data screening can sometimes flag addresses as potentially incorrect for various reasons, the most common being that the resident has come off the electoral roll or that Royal Mail has changed the postcode of the address. In such instances, we send a letter to the address to double-check that the member still resides there.
Even if you believe that the company has your address on file correctly and it remains unchanged, please get in touch with us so that we do not send you any more letters.
I am receiving my pension. Why are you looking for me?
In some instances, individuals may have received their pension for many years and continue to receive it every month. However, they may not have updated their contact details when they moved house.
Even if you are receiving a pension, it is always worth contacting us to confirm that your details are up to date, as the scheme may freeze payments if they cannot verify your whereabouts.
What is my pension or account worth?
At the Tracing Group, we do not hold any specific financial details of your pension or account. This is protected information not shared with us. Once we have updated the company that has instructed us to perform the search with your contact details, they will contact you directly.
Can I contact the pension scheme or company directly?
Yes - if you feel more comfortable contacting the scheme or company directly, please feel free to do so. If, however, you update your details with them directly, please get in touch with us to let us know so that we do not progress with any further research or send you any more letters.
Will I be charged for this?
No - our tracing fee is paid by the company or pension scheme out of their budget. You will never be charged for our services; no commission or charge is ever taken.
What people say
"You’ve been really efficient and helpful. Thank you! "
"Thanks Bob, I appreciate your professionalism and sensitivity in your approach"
"You have been really helpful all the way through. Thank you so much. Excellent service"
"I'm chuffed to bits that you have found me. I have been trying for ages to find out who was holding that pension"
" Im really happy to be found. My IFA hasn't been able to track down this pension"