Martin Lewis warning as anyone with a private pension needs this vital document | Personal Finance | Finance newsbhunt

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Martin Lewis has warned pension savers they need to have a vital document up to date or their savings could end up going to their ex partner.

Mr Lewis told listeners to his BBC podcast that anyone with a private or workplace pension needs to have an expression of wishes document set up.

The form nominates who will receive an individual’s pension pot after they die and it’s important to keep it up to date or the funds could end up going to the wrong person.

He said: “Everyone who has a private or company pension should make sure you have an expression of wishes form, or a nomination form, and you need to make sure that that is kept up to date with about you would like the money to go to.

“I have heard of disputes that someone has done the nomination form and they have taken out their pension 30 years ago, been paying into it for a long time, never updated it and when they die, their expression of wishes is giving all their money to their husband or wife, two husbands or wives ago.”

Families should note an expression of wishes is not a legally binding document but the pension provider will usually follow the document and pass on the funds to the desired person.

Mr Lewis added: “Just make sure you’ve got one, fill it in, it’s a little bit of housekeeping.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced several changes to pensions in his autumn statement, including proposals for a ‘pot for life’.

This would give pension savers the right to require a new employer to pay their pension contributions into an existing pensions pot.

Recent research highlighted some of the common mistakes pensioners make when it comes to organising their savings.

A survey by Hargreaves Lansdown found 29 percent of pensioners have never switched provider despite the recent hikes in interest rates.

Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown: “Emergency savings are a vital lifeline for retirees, so it’s brilliant that the vast majority of people in retirement have done all the hard work of building a savings safety net.

“Unfortunately, there’s every chance this money is languishing neglected in miserable savings account, because significant numbers of retirees admit to alarming savings habits.”

The research found 37 percent of retirees have some of their savings in a current account, which is more than double the proportion of non-retired people who do, at 14 percent.

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