I hope you can help me find my late husband’s lost pension. He died aged 70. I have tried various websites over the past few months without success.

NH, Lancs

One of your husband’s ex-colleagues said he was receiving a workplace pension. You wondered why your husband had never had one from the same company.

In fact, it was your daughter who had been looking into this. You weren’t very clear which websites she had tried.

Any pension payments your late husband was receiving should show on his bank statements. However, he died six years ago and you may no longer have them. You have no paperwork concerning a pension and only say there must have been one since your late husband was a member of the union. But I am afraid that past pension entitlements and union membership are not automatically linked.

Lack of paperwork can unfortunately be a problem on both sides. Some pension schemes in the past were also guilty of poor recordkeeping, errors and not interpreting rules correctly.

Whether there was a pension entitlement may depend on when the employment ended and whether the employee had paid into the scheme.

Given the era your husband was working in and that this was early on in his working career, he may have taken a lump sum in lieu of a pension when he left the company. That did happen sometimes. Or he may have left without anything. Even if he did have a pension, a widow’s or dependant’s provision is not part of every pension.

You have now tried the Pension Tracing Service on gov.uk and 0800 731 0193 to no avail. The Pensions Advisory Service at pensionsadvisoryservice. org.uk has information about tracing pensions and how old pensions worked under “Lost pensions”. Or call 0800 011 3797.

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