Up to £800m of pension and insurance assets and an even higher amount of savings could be lying dormant by the end of 2023, according to analysis of figures from the Commission on Dormant Assets.
Hargreaves Lansdown says the forgotten cash, alongside £892m in forgotten savings which has already been paid to good causes since 2011, means the total amount of mislaid assets in the UK could total £1.7bn.
Figures from Gretel, an online service which reunites savers with forgotten cash, suggest three in 10 people could have money lost and languishing in an old account, with an average of £2,500 in each lost account.
Sarah Coles, head of personal finance, Hargreaves Lansdown: “It’s easy to see why so much money goes astray. We can end up opening multiple accounts – whether it’s because we want new features on a current account, to fix our savings for different periods, or simply because we changed jobs and opened another pension.
“We’re not always completely on the ball with filing the paperwork, or updating our address with every single provider when we move, so we can end up trailing multiple accounts in our wake that we’ve forgotten about entirely.”
How to find your lost money
Bank and savings accounts can be declared dormant if you don’t touch the account for several years and any letters from the bank or building society are returned saying you no longer live at the address on the letter.
You can check if you have any forgotten current and savings accounts at the government-backed website mylostaccount.org.uk.
You can track down old workplace pensions using the Pension Tracing Service.
Helen Morrissey, head of retirement research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Do bear in mind that since auto-enrolment you may have had a pension with everyone you have worked for, so take the time to track them down.
“Do try to bring together as many pensions as makes sense for you. This won’t just cut down on the amount of admin you need to keep on top of, and help you see whether you’re on track for retirement, it also gives you a single overarching view of your investments.”
For investments, contact the Investment Association, while for investment trusts go to the Association of Investment Companies.
If you want to track an old insurance policy, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has a tracking service you can find via its website.