Pension pots worth around £19.4bn unclaimed due to house moves

Empty glass jar with a label that reads 'Retirement'. Credit: Getty

Around £19.4bn ($24bn) of UK pension pots are unclaimed due to people moving home and not telling their provider.

An estimated 1.6 million pension pots worth the equivalent of £13,000 each are currently lost or forgotten, according to research commissioned by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Only one in 25 people consider telling their pension provider when they move home, yet the average person moves eight times in their life.

Contacting the bank and utility companies was the highest priority of the 2,000 participants who took part in the study. And 89% said they would  automatically tell their GP or dentist about their change of address.

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

READ MORE: Fuel costs hitting poorest families hardest, warn energy experts

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

Dr Yvonne Braun, director of policy, long-term savings and protection at ABI said lockdown was the perfect opportunity to focus on jobs that never get done, such as updating financial information with the correct address.

“All you need is to check the address on your last annual statement or log in to your provider’s website. We also 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."

The results of the survey will now be used to help companies trying to reunite people with their lost pensions, life insurance and investments.

“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,” added Braun.