Between the 23rd and 24th of March I will be attending the International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association’s (IPEBLA) 2023 conference in Cape Town.

As part of an international panel, I will be discussing the problems around and solutions to unclaimed pensions benefits.

Due to the decline in long-term jobs and increase in the number of jobs held in a lifetime, many more jobholders are not realising that they are entitled to additional pension benefits from their previous jobs. This in turn increases the number of unclaimed benefits, estimated to be around £19.4 billion in the UK by a recent report.

Unclaimed benefits are also a particular issue in South Africa with a recent report suggesting that around 47.3 billion rand is sitting unclaimed. In this session I will be joined by colleagues from around the world to discuss how this issue is managed in different jurisdictions and further understanding of the legal complexities and latest thinking about solutions.

Specific topics I will be discussing include:

  • What an unclaimed benefits is;
  • When a pension benefit vests;
  • How changes in working habits (such as people holding more jobs within their lifetime) has led to a rise in unclaimed benefits, as people lose track of their pensions from previous jobs;
  • The relevant rules for forfeiture of pension benefits within the UK;
  • The potential for 'Pot Follows Member' schemes to be a solution to the issue of unclaimed benefits and potential problems with this; and
  • A summary of the proposed Pension Dashboard and how it could help with the issue of unclaimed pension benefits.

I am really looking forward to attending the conference and having the opportunity to discuss the current trends and issues in pension law with lawyers from across multiple jurisdictions.

If you have any questions concerning unclaimed pension benefits or any other issues, please do get in touch.

In the UK, it is recommended that to use the government pension tracking service to find contact details to search for a lost pension - Find pension contact details - GOV.UK (