How you can track down your lost savings, pensions, and investments
In the past, it was normal to have a job for life. Now, however, you’re much more likely to work in a variety of roles for different employers. Because of this, you’re also likely to have several different pension pots, which can sometimes be tricky to keep track of.
Over time, it can be easy to lose the details for old savings accounts or investments, particularly if they only contain a small amount of wealth. But when it comes to reaching your long-term goals, every little helps.
If you want to make sure your money is working hard for you, it’s important to know what assets you have. So, read on to find out how you can track down your lost savings, pensions, and investments.
Many Brits worry about losing track of a portion of their wealth
After many years of hard work, you’ll likely have built up a considerable amount of wealth from working with a variety of employers. But because of this, it can be easy to lose track of old pots of money that you’ve earned.
According to a recent study published in FT Adviser, a third of pension savers believe they have built up funds that they’ve lost or forgotten about after changing jobs. The report also found that 5.5 million Brits have three or more pension pots, while more than 980,000 believe they have five or more.
If you only worked with an employer for a few months, and so don’t have much wealth in a particular fund, it can be easy to lose track of it once you change jobs. But over time, this money could grow into a sizeable amount.
In fact, according to the Times, it’s estimated that Brits have a total of £50 billion of unclaimed pension wealth that they’ve forgotten about.
The same can be true with old bank accounts, as a small amount of money can sometimes be easily forgotten. Of course, this is still your hard-earned cash, so it’s important to ensure it’s working hard for you. Thankfully, finding lost wealth is often simpler than you might think.
It can be easy to lose track of pensions if you’ve worked several jobs
If you think you may have a pension fund that you’ve lost track of, the first thing you should do is to make a list of all of your previous employers. Then, try to remember whether you made monthly contributions while you worked for them.
Since 2012, all employees are automatically enrolled into a workplace pension if they have an annual salary of £10,000 or more, unless they explicitly opt out. Of course, if you worked for a small firm then auto-enrolment may not have applied until 2017.
Typically, pension providers send you regular correspondence, such as an annual statement telling you how your fund is performing. If you still have access to such letters, you may want to get in touch with the company and ask for details about your accounts.
Of course, if you have moved house and didn’t update your contact information, or aren’t receiving the correspondence for any reason, you may want to get in touch with your old employer directly. They can point you in the right direction, so you can track down the provider.
Finally, if you’re still struggling, you can use the government’s free Pension Tracing Service to find any funds you may have forgotten about.
If you’ve lost track of shares, it can be useful to contact the company directly for information
It’s also possible to lose track of shares or investments, especially if you bought them several years ago.
If you have owned stocks in a company, but don’t remember the details, it can be useful to get in touch with them directly and request a replacement share certificate. This can give you important information about your investments.
Alternatively, if you aren’t sure which companies you own shares in, it may be helpful to get in touch with one of the main share registrars. Firms such as Computershare, Equiniti, or Link Group can help you to track down your old investments, though they will charge a fee for doing so.
You may also want to use the Investment Association’s Unclaimed Assets Portal, which can help you to find old savings and investments.
Get in touch with your bank or building society to find out if you have dormant accounts
If you think you’ve lost track of an old bank or savings account, then the most sensible thing to do is to get in touch with the banks or building societies that you typically use.
They will usually be able to confirm whether you have a dormant account, although you will need the necessary details to access it. If you’ve forgotten these, the My Lost Account website can help you to recover them.
Typically, you will have to fill in a form and give as much detail as you can about the account, as well as the name of the bank or building society. This information will then be passed on to the institution, who will then get in touch with you so you can recover it.
The website is free to use and covers most banks and building societies, as well as the full range of National Savings & Investments (NS&I) products. Of course, it’s important to be aware that this process can take several weeks, so it’s important to be patient when searching for lost savings.
Get in touch
If you want to know more about how you can ensure your wealth is working hard for you, we can help. Email us at email@example.com or call 0330 320 5048.
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Levels, bases of and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change and their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.
Workplace pensions are regulated by The Pension Regulator.