How to track down lost pensions and savings

A woman searching through documents in an open draw

With the cost of living crisis showing no signs of improving, now is an ideal time to look at ways of boosting your finances.

One way to give your finances a lift could be if you’re one of the 20 million people reported by This is Money to have unclaimed money sitting in inactive and dormant accounts.

The report estimates that a staggering £50 billion is lying unclaimed in forgotten accounts. These can range from pensions and investments to lost savings and bank accounts.

With Age UK stating that people who successfully trace their money on average retrieve up to £1,000, now could be the perfect opportunity to find your forgotten accounts.

If you have moved jobs, it could mean you have a lost pension

While you may think you would never lose track of a pension or a savings account, it can happen for a range of reasons. This is especially true in the early years of your career, when finances and pensions may not have been at the front of your mind.

Analysis by Zippia concludes the average person changes jobs 12 times in their lifetime. If you had a different pension at each workplace, it might be easy to forget one. If you moved house during that time and failed to update the pension provider, they may have lost touch with you, and the pension becomes an unclaimed or lost asset.

Major life changes such as marriage, divorce or deaths within the family can also easily lead to unclaimed assets and forgotten bank accounts.

The This is Money report suggests there is £4.5 billion in forgotten bank accounts, up to £37 billion in missing or unclaimed pensions, and £4.8 billion in forgotten investments and unclaimed life insurance policies.

With so much money languishing unclaimed, here is how you can find any lost assets and boost your wealth.

Finding your lost pension

If you think you’ve lost track of an old pension, the first thing to do would be to list all the companies you have worked for and establish whether you paid into a pension with them.

Once you have this list, contact your old employers to obtain the details of the various pension providers. You can then contact these providers to track down any “lost” accounts.

The government also has its own free Pension Tracing Service that can find contact details for previous workplace or personal pension schemes.

Note that the Pension Tracing Service will only find the contact details for previous workplaces or personal pension schemes; it will not tell you whether you have a pension or what the value of the pension is.

Finding your lost savings and bank accounts

If you think you have an old or dormant savings account, your first step should be to contact your bank or building society directly.

If you do not know what bank or building society you used, or you have no further details, My Lost Account could be able to help you. The website is free to use and can investigate whether you have accounts with many UK banks, UK building societies, and National Savings & Investments (NS&I) products.

However, be aware this service can take up to three months to trace your money.

If you think you have Premium Bonds or other NS&I savings, you can use the NS&I’s tracing service. If you have access to your Premium Bond account numbers, contact NS&I, and they will send a form to claim any prizes you are owed.

Finding lost insurance policies

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), there is £2 billion sitting in unclaimed and forgotten life insurance policies in the UK.

It is always a difficult time if a loved one has died, but it could benefit you and your family to check if they had any life insurance.

If you don’t know whether they had any protection in place, look for paperwork for insurers or check any old bank statements for details of any payments to an insurance company.

Alternatively, contact a solicitor or an accountant the deceased previously worked with, as they might have those details on file.

Finding lost investments

As a busy person, it is easy to lose track of shares and investments, especially if you have held them for a long time.

If you still remember the details of the company you have invested in, contact them to obtain a new share certificate.

On the other hand, if you have no recollection of the company you invested in, share registrars such as can help as you can search for shareholdings using these services. Note that they may charge a fee.

Get in touch

With £50 billion lying unclaimed or as lost assets, tracking down lost accounts may help to give your wealth a boost, especially during this difficult economic time.

If you would like further help and advice on tracking down lost assets, or you’d like advice regarding how to deal with an unexpected windfall, please get in touch.

Email or call us on 01454 416 653.

Please note

This article is no substitute for financial advice and should not be treated as such. To determine the best course of action for your individual circumstances, please contact us.

What do our clients have to say?