£19.4bn of pension pots unclaimed because of failure to update addresses – ABI

5 May 2020, 18:04

Pension savings
Pension savings. Picture: PA

Only one in 25 people would consider informing their pension provider when they move home, the Association of British Insurers said.

Pension savers’ reluctance to tell their provider when they move house may explain why around £19.4 billion-worth of pension pots may be going unclaimed, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

It said consumer research suggests just one in 25 people (4%) would consider informing their pension provider when they move home.

The ABI said estimates suggest there are around 1.6 million pension pots worth £19.4 billion in total going unclaimed – the equivalent of nearly £13,000 per pension pot.

Insurers are trying to reunite people with their lost pensions, life insurance and investments. This is usually done by sending a letter to their new address.

Typically, people move house eight times during their lifetime.

The Government predicts that there could be as many as 50 million dormant and lost pensions by 2050.

In 2017 more than 375,000 attempts were made to contact customers, leading them to be reunited with £1 billion in assets.

Yvonne Braun, director of policy, long-term savings and protection at the ABI said: “During the lockdown many of us have been focusing on those jobs that never get done, so now is the perfect opportunity to check all your financial information is up to date with the correct address. It is simple to do. All you need is to check the address on your last annual statement or log in to your provider’s website.

“Don’t worry if you don’t have this information, we have a guide on our website to help track your insurance and pension policies and some tips on responding to tracing letters, along with our members’ contact details.

“Long-term savings providers will continue to work hard to reunite people with their lost money. People deserve all the cash they are entitled to. To ensure more people than ever are reconnected we will continue to work with Government to explore ways data can be used to verify customer addresses.”

Help with tracking down policies is available at www.abi.org.uk/data-and-resources/tools-and-resources/tracing-an-insurance-policy.

The Government’s free Pension Tracing Service – www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details – may also be able to help.

Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion Guy Opperman said: “I would strongly encourage anyone who thinks they may have an unclaimed pension pot to visit gov.uk and use our Pension Tracing Service.

“This research also adds to the already substantial case for making pension dashboards a reality. They will help bring pensions into the digital age and transform how we all think about and plan for retirement by giving savers information about their pensions at the touch of a screen.”

By Press Association

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