It is estimated over £20 billion lies unclaimed in the UK. With a little detective work you can track down lost money that could be yours.
You might be wondering how so much money can go unclaimed?
Pretty easy really.
You have set up a savings account with every intention of regularly depositing money into it. Very soon after the enthusiasm dwindles and deposits stop- especially when you’re young. The account is forgotten, you move house a couple of times and the bank which has your money takes a less than proactive approach in finding the rightful owner.
With interest that initial savings could now be worth considerably more. Instead the bank has it. Dormant bank accounts like this account for over £5 billion in unclaimed money.
But it’s not just bank accounts. Money can go unclaimed because:
1. You leave a company a lose contact with a pension scheme
2. Relatives set up savings plans you’re unaware of
3. Dividends from shares are unclaimed
4. You were paying a policy but lost the paperwork or forgot the company name
5. Your partner or relative had a life insurance policy or pension you were unaware of
Steps to reclaiming lost money
The first point to consider is whether you would prefer to do it yourself or pay a company to search on your behalf. Doing it yourself will no doubt save you money but it may take considerable longer. You also run the chance of missing unclaimed funds which you are entitled to.
Do it yourself – The free option
The organisations listed will help you trace unclaimed money free of charge.
Use the contact details below to track unclaimed pensions.
The Pensions Tracing Service
The Pensions Service
Ph: 0845 600 2537
Visit The Pension service
To track down unclaimed money in bank accounts contact the British Bankers’ Association. Either visit their website or call and ask for a Dormant Accounts Claim Form.
Ph: 020 7216 8909
Visit British Bankers Association
Building Society Accounts
Contact the Building Societies Association and ask for a Dormant Account Scheme Leaflet.
Ph: 020 7437 0655
Visit Building Societies Association
National Savings & Premium Bonds
To research yourself you will need your “holders number” to check for unclaimed premium bond prizes.
For more information:
Ph: 0845 964 5000
Visit National Savings
The paid option
There are a number of companies that will act on your behalf to locate any unclaimed money which is rightfully yours.
The Unclaimed Assets Register (UAR)
An Experian company, the Unclaimed Assets Register has a database of unclaimed life policies, pensions, unit trust holdings, and share dividends drawn from many companies.
They will search their database on your behalf to track down any unclaimed money. To use this service the fee is £18, with 10% of the fee being donated to charity.
Visit the Unclaimed Assets Register