Which? has called for urgent introduction of a comprehensive pensions dashboard after an investigation revealed how the current system leaves workers struggling to track down their retirement pots.
The consumer website's report challenged 12 people to track down key pieces of information about each of their 38 pension schemes. Nine of them came across gaps in their data and just three were able to find all the requested information via paper statements, online accounts, and phone calls.
Missing information was a particular problem, with some unable to find any details about their scheme's charges or investment strategy.
The research comes as the pension schemes bill is debated in parliament, which legislates for the introduction of a pensions dashboard.
The Which? research showed more than three quarters of its respondents said they would be likely to use the dashboard to find out about their pensions.
An update on how much state pension you would be likely to get was the information most people would like to see, according to the report, while more than half wanted to know their current pension value or to see the charges they are paying.
Barnett Waddingham self-invested pensions technical specialist James Jones-Tinsley said: "Initiatives like the pensions dashboard have the potential to transform the way people understand, engage with, and build up their pension pots, which is more important than ever in an increasingly complex savings landscape.
"However, it may not be as simple as it sounds… if the average person has 11 jobs over the course of their lifetime, it's no surprise that over 800,000 pots are currently ‘lost'. To work well, it is essential that the pensions industry throws its full weight behind making the dashboard project a success."
Lane Clark & Peacock partner Steve Webb added: "Owing to the lack of a current framework for workers to track down and understand their pension savings, it is of little wonder that the majority of those that took part in the Which? investigation were unable to find all the requested information needed to provide a complete picture of their retirement pots.
"Delays to the legislation due to last year's general election and the practicalities of bringing all the necessary data onto the dashboard could mean that workers trying to understand their pensions will continue to be in the dark for some time."
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