Find unclaimed assets Pensions and premium bonds

There are tracing services that can help you track down lost premium bonds and pension savings

This guide takes you through the steps you can take to re-trace your lost savings and lost premium bonds.

Find lost premium bonds

With over £51 million  in unclaimed premium bond prizes as of January 2016, it's worth checking that you haven't missed out on a prize. There's no time limit for claims. National Savings and Investments (NS&I) attempts to contact all winners, but can only do so if they have their current contact details.

If you know your holder's number, you can check using the online premium bonds prize checker

If you don't have any documentation, but believe you have some premium bonds, then you can use NS&Is tracing service. You can use the same form to check whether a deceased investor had any premium bonds.

You will need to provide information such as your date of birth, previous addresses and the name of the person who bought the bond.

Alternatively, you can use to do a search.

NS&I will never deactivate a Premium Bond without a customer’s authority. Even if NS&I don’t communicate with you for years, the premium bond will remain open and will be entered into prize draws. 

Find out more: Premium Bonds - the Which? guide to NS&I Premium Bonds

How to find lost pensions savings

If you've lost touch with pension savings there are a number of different ways to re-trace them.

How you trace your pension savings will depend on the type of scheme they are held in. If you think the savings are held by a workplace scheme, you can first use the Pension Tracing Service to identify the correct contact details.

The Pension Tracing Service is run by the Department of Work and Pensions and carries details for more than 200,000 different pension scheme administrators.

All you need to know is the name of your previous employer or pension scheme – although if you can give more information, it will improve your chances of finding a current address for the scheme.

What the tracing service can't do is tell you if you actually have any pension benefit with the particular scheme you're looking for. It simply gives you a contact address for the administrators of the scheme and then it's up to you to contact them directly.

Alternatively, someone at your former employer may be able to help.

For personal pension savings you should contact the Pensions Advisory Service, who will be able to guide you through what to do.

Find out more: Should I consolidate my pensions? - When and how to transfer pension savings

Am I owed any pension entitlement?

Bear in mind that just because you were enrolled in a former employer’s pension scheme it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re missing out on any entitlement.

In the past, pension schemes often refunded contributions if you left an employer.

As a rough rule, if you left an employer before 1975 it’s likely you would have received a refund of your contributions.

Between 1975 and 1988 it’s less clear cut, but if you were over 26, and were in a scheme for at least five years, you will almost certainly have received a refund.

If you left an employer after 1988, and you worked for it for at least two years, you’re likely to be entitled to some pension income.

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