Many of us could do with a cash boost right now, especially those whose incomes have been affected by coronavirus, so it’s worth checking that you haven’t lost track of any savings or investments.
The most common reason people end up with forgotten savings, pensions, or investments, is because they move to a new house and don’t notify their providers of their change of address. Here, we explain how to locate any missing accounts.
Lost savings accounts
A savings account is classified as lost if you haven’t made any transactions for a prolonged period of time. If your account has been inactive for some years, your bank or building society will contact you and ask if you want to keep it open.
If you don’t reply to them, they will consider your account dormant. It’s estimated that there’s currently around £850m languishing in forgotten accounts and you can get your money back even if you lost track of your money several decades ago.
Your first port of call if you think you might have a lost bank, building society or National Savings and Investments (NS&I) account should be the free-to-use website Mylostaccount.org.uk. Once you’ve registered on the site, you’ll need to provide as many details as possible such as your date of birth, current contact address, previous addresses, who you think the account was with and so on. You should receive a response to your claim within three months of submitting your completed application, or one month if you think you have a lost account with NS&I.
If you’re unable to apply online, paper copies of the application forms can be downloaded from the website. Bear in mind that applying by post is likely to take longer than if you submit your application online.
Forgotten pensions and investments
According to estimates, there are around 1.6m pension pots worth £19.4 billion lying unclaimed in the UK – the equivalent of nearly £13,000 per forgotten pension.
If you think you may have lost track of some of your retirement savings, you can use the government’s pension tracing service at Pension Tracing service to help you find them. However, this service can only let you know contact details for the scheme you’re searching for, and not whether you have a pension with them. You’ll need to get in touch with the scheme’s administrators directly to find this information.
Investors with lost investment funds should be able to get help finding these through the Investment Association, or through the Unclaimed Assets Register. Bear in mind there’s a fixed fee of £25 per search you conduct with the Unclaimed Assets Register. You can contact the Unclaimed Assets Register by phone on 0333 000 0182
Dr Yvonne Braun, Ddirector of policy, long-term savings and protection at the ABI said: “During the lockdown many of us have been focussing on those jobs that never get done, so now is the perfect opportunity to check all your financial information is up to date with the correct address. “Long-term savings providers will continue to work hard to reunite people with their lost money. People deserve all the cash they are entitled to.”