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Millions held in forgotten pensions

DWP's pension tracing service helps 350,000 people

An average of £1,900 was claimed by those who had lost track of their pension. The DWP reports that 7% gained over £20,000.  

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Most claimants had switched jobs, moved home or mislaid their paperwork. 

Pension tracing 

Urging more people to use the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) free service, Pensions minister, Steve Webb said:

‘People need to make sure they’re claiming everything they’re entitled to in retirement. If you think you may have had a pension in a previous job or you once paid into a personal scheme that you had forgotten about, then the Pension Tracing Service may be able to help you to recover the money you invested.’

The Pension Tracing Service helps individuals to find occupational and personal pensions that they have lost track of. It uses a database containing information on more than 200,000 pension schemes. The service provides contact details of the potential scheme administrator to enable customers to make subsequent enquiries. It can’t tell you if you actually have any pension benefit with a particular scheme.

For further details see or call 0845 600 2537. 

Lost accounts

Forgotten pensions are just one form of lost savings. Many people have bank and building society accounts they no longer use, with savings left unclaimed. An free online service called exists to help track these down. For more details see the Which? online guide on how to find unclaimed assets. This has advice on tracing lost shares, life insurance policies and other forgotten holdings.  

Firms which offer to put you in touch with lost assets can be expensive, particularly for shares. One paid for service that might be worth considering if all else fails is the Unclaimed Assets Register (UAR), a database of more than three million unclaimed life policies, pensions, unit trust holdings and share dividends from around 80 companies. This costs £25 to access.

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