Pension advice Needed

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I'm trying to find time to think about my own situation and keep putting pension on the back burner. As I've said in another thread , I'm making sure I'm not losing out on any state pension through being a carer and have that side of things in hand, currently waiting for a pension statement . I think I have the required 30 years worth of NI contributions now or at least 28 0r 29 so almost there.
I've also got a few very small pension pots from miscellaneous jobs, one was a local government superanuation scheme that I was in for ten years and haven't touched. I seem to remember they work in 80ths so I have about 9/80s- not much but safe.
I also have about 4 pots with very little in from occ pensions from the other 20 years of my working life before I became a carer .
I am now 50 so too yourng for the pension service to give me any advice, they won't advise you until you get to 55. Two of my small pots are with big reputable companies who offer their own advice but would obviously suggest putting it all in their pot.
The sums are all quite small and so not worth paying out a fortune for financial advice.
I feel it is probably not cost effective as things are with management fees but I am fearful of being fleeced or putting it in the wrong place so have until now felt it better to have several eggs in different baskets.
What would people advice please?
My brother had several pension pots from different employers - when he was dying these kept him going financially. I dealt with his claims, as he was in Uruguay. Everyone dealt with the claims quickly, as each pot was relatively small, the rules applied were simpler. He could have all the money immediately.
From this experience, I'd say don't worry, in the future it might actually work to your advantage to have a few small pots, so you might cash in one and leave another.
I'd suggest that you checked with the NI unit in Newscastle to make sure your carer credits have been recorded properly, some of mine had got "lost", fortunately I realised quickly and could put things right but it took ages, as there were forms to complete and the Carers Allowance Unit were very, very slow.
I'd suggest that any carer checks every few years with the contributions unit.
Hi BB - thanks for that. I have only just received a letter from the NI people confirming my credits and pleased to say they show no gaps. I remember realising half way through my careing time that I had to make separate application for Carers Credits to cover the gaps when I wasn't gettting CA due to being over the limit that week in earnings but not earning enough to pay NI. I have only just got round to checking they have applied it correctly but pleased to say they have and no gaps in my record. I make sure earnings are always below limit now.
Thanks for advice re pensions.
Still trying to make small contributions to pension even as a carer but not sure there is a lot of point with small amounts and relatively near retirement age as it won't grow much.
Hi Henrietta
It is worth looking at the charges on the small ones. If any has larger charges than the others then it might be worth merging them. Look too at the annual statements to make sure they are actually increasing and by how much. Some small pensiins are notorious for charges decreasing the value when there no more money being paid in.
With contributions, remember government adds 20% on top of what you put in. Thats free money, which you could start drawing at 55, though it would build up more the longer you left it in.
I'd also suggest looking at what funds the pensions are in. Most pension providers play very safe and it might be you want to change one or 2 to slightly higher risk funds to get better returns, it all depends on how much you will rely on these monies.
Have you looked at Pension advice service website? Free and impartial
Many thanks Mrs Average- very helpful.