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Posted By Linda Kent

Have you got forgotten funds?

Once you've put money into a savings account or pension, you’d think it would be yours forever, but did you know that if you forget about your accounts, the government can borrow the money?

A savings or pension account is classed as dormant when it hasn't been touched for 15 years and, according to asset-tracing firm Gretel, there’s around £50bn just sitting in forgotten accounts - of which almost £40bn is in lost pensions. There are around 1.6 million dormant pensions in the UK, according to the Pensions Policy Institute and, as people move from job to job and are automatically enrolled in multiple pension schemes, millions more pensions are expected to become dormant over the years.  If the bank or pension firm can't reunite the balance with the rightful owner, it can be transferred into the UK Dormant Assets Scheme which the government plans to use to fund charities.

Only £93m has been reclaimed since the fund was established in 2008, so you should aim to track down and claim your lost assets before the government does, as it can make a huge difference to your eventual retirement income.  We can do this for you.  

How do I trace and claim? 

One of the many advantages of using our services is that we can undertake all the work involved in tracing old pensions and savings accounts on your behalf, to ensure you reclaim anything you may have forgotten about.  However, if you choose to do this yourself you could: 

  • Use the information on any paperwork you still have to contact the bank, building society or pension provider who holds your account and provide them with your name, address, national insurance number, old addresses, previous names and, if possible, plan or account numbers.  
  • Contact your previous employer who can also help trace a workplace pension if you can't remember who administered the plan. Include the dates you worked there when you were enrolled in the pension scheme so that they can tell you which provider was used at the time.  
  • You can also do a free search even if you have no information; The Pension Tracing Service will check if you are registered with any schemes and provide you with their contact details.  
  • To search for forgotten bank accounts held with members of the British Bankers' Association, the Building Societies Association and National Savings & Investments, visit Rediscovered savings accounts are likely to have very poor interest rates, so move them to a better rewarding account. 

Finally, you should always ensure you keep bank and pension providers updated with your current contact details. 

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