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Unclaimed Pensions

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Jan 2019 | comments*Discuss
Unclaimed Funds Unclaimed Money

It’s actually far more possible for a person to lose track on money in a pension, whether it’s occupational or personal, than you might imagine (for obvious reasons, this doesn’t include state pensions).

You might have been in a job for a short while and not realised money was being put in a pension fund, or it might involve someone else, now dead, who didn’t know they had some money in a pension, or had forgotten it was there (which might be more common in the case of a personal pension).

The Pension Service, which administers pensions in the UK, believes that there’s around £3 billion in pension money that’s lying around unclaimed, but it’s difficult to come up with a more exact figure.

Finding a Pension

There’s a total of approximately 200,000 occupational and personal pension schemes in existence. That’s a massive figure, far, far bigger than banks or building societies. Trying to track one possible pension in all of those could be rather like looking for a needle in a haystack for an individual, at least without a great deal of information when starting.

However, the Pension Service can help with this – at least to an extent. They maintain a database of all the schemes, both past and present. It costs nothing to use it, and you can access it through the website, via mail or on the phone.

After you’ve requested a trace, the service will contact you with the result. If they discover that you, or whoever you’re representing, has money in a pension, they’ll give you the contact details for the fund so you can follow up and claim the money.

What They Need From You

Be aware, though, that without a certain amount of information there’s not a lot they can do. You’ll need to supply them with your own details, obviously, as well as the name of the pension scheme or the employer (with their full name and address, information on whether the employer changed names and whatever else you know). If at all possible, it would also be useful to supply information on the type of pension scheme – occupational, personal, etc.

Obviously, the more details you can supply, the greater the likelihood of them being able to locate the pension. You can even use this service if you live outside the UK but believe you have a claim on a UK private pension.

Claiming The Money

The Pension Service can help put you in touch with whoever has the pension, but you’ll be on your own when it comes to making the claim, although, in most cases, the procedure should be fairly straightforward.

You’ll need to establish your claim and prove your identity. From that point it should be simple to obtain payment. If you’re the heir to an estate with a pension it might take a little longer for the claim to go through – but you might also have had quite a job even tracking down the pension in the first place.

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My dad past away last may he had a working pension they are saying that on the plan if he had a spouse or children under 21 i am the youngest at 46 and he has been divorced for over 30 years what can we do about claiming it back as he worked for the company for about 50 years
Ang - 18-Jan-19 @ 12:02 AM
My father never claimed a war pension and now hehas died almost 7years ago can I find out if he is owed any money and could it be claimed by myself his daughtermargaret Gilbert
Mags - 16-Jan-19 @ 7:04 PM
My father is alive at tge age of 73 and a uk citizen living in the Republic of Eire .He has been there 30 yrs .He claims the irish state pension but has never claimed a uk pension at all .Is he entitled to claim and can he get paid backdated unclaimed money. He has no workplace pensions but would be claiming the badic uk state pension ...can somebody help ...???
Te` - 26-Oct-18 @ 11:54 PM
My father passed away 20 years ago and he left me something but his family went where he was working and claim without me knowing
Stain - 7-Sep-18 @ 10:14 PM
My husband died in 2011, at the age of 83, he had been collecting his state pension, but prior to this had been off work through ill health, we never discussed pensions or money etc, but now I was wondering if it was possible if he had, work place pensions that I did not know about, I have no idea of the companies he worked for in the past, would it still be possible for me to check if he had any forgotten pensions?
San - 20-Aug-18 @ 1:58 PM
My dad died 10 yrs ago some of our family have just found out in 1990 we got out a pension I was wondering if my dad did and how to get it
Kabab - 3-Jul-18 @ 8:00 AM
My dad passed away in 2004 and he had a pit pension an nothing was ever heard about it. I was his next of kin am I able to do something about it now thank you
Pazza - 22-Jun-18 @ 12:01 PM
My father Jack Craddock worked for Balfour Beatty, he paid into the pensions scheme all his life, but unfortunately he died in 1990, 3 weeks before he was going to retire at 60.My Mum received some sort of pension, but she died in 1995.What happended to all the funds my dad contributed? My name was Susan Craddock, I married David Brownbill - divorced, then David Stinson - divorced.I can send over any information you may require
99Suzique99 - 21-Jun-18 @ 1:50 PM
My dad passed away over a year ago I. Thailand and I’m finally getting his death certificate as he was cremated without one ?? I have few details, I know he was getting things sent to a uk address but I don’t know which also don’t know the companies he used to work for. Anyway I can find out?
Emchap - 1-Jun-18 @ 8:05 AM
Hi my father passed suddenly in 2011 he worked all his life and had a pit pension is there any way of finding his pensions if so can i claim his pit pension as his only daughter.
Blondie - 23-Mar-18 @ 2:15 PM
My father was born in United States of America -his parents were English and returned to home after his birth, my father later served in the 101st Airborne during WW2.There was talk of money being owed to him from this time which he never claimed,he died in 1984 . How can I find out if any monies were due to him or his next of kin?
Lynne - 19-Nov-17 @ 12:31 PM
Kimbo- Your Question:
Hi my husband passed away just over a year ago and back in the 70s he worked for standard telecommunications in the docks in Southampton,he paid into a pension with them but because he died at 58 he didn’t receive this and was wondering if there is any way I could find out about this.thank you

Our Response:
You may wish to contact the Pension Advisory Service, here , which may help you answer your question.
UnclaimedFinances - 9-Nov-17 @ 3:32 PM
Hi my husband passed away just over a year ago and back in the 70s he worked for standard telecommunications in the docks in Southampton,he paid into a pension with them but because he died at 58 he didn’t receive this and was wondering if there is any way I could find out about this.thank you
Kimbo - 7-Nov-17 @ 3:38 PM
Sir/Madam, My father used to serve as a gym as well as a parachute instructor in the Royal Air Force just after the 2nd world war. He later relocated to South Africa in the early 1950's.He never ever claimed a pension from the pensionable date 60/65 back then and died at the age of 77 years. My question is : can myself along with my 5 siblings apply for the pension that he, or my mother who also passed on a year later, make an application for His unclaimed pension between the pensinable date whether 60/65 - 77 years.I can obtain all details but just would like to find out if this is a viable question and then a possible endeavour for this claim.My one brother and myself live in the UK, and another brother and sister in Australia and 2 sisters still live in South Africa.Thank you for your time.Trevor
Trevor - 19-Jul-17 @ 6:56 AM
Hi, my husband passed away suddenly 7 years ago leaving myself and our young son with nothing. He worked all over the world and in the UK as a contractor for different companies. How can I trace any policies/pensions held by him?
TNT - 18-Jun-17 @ 9:46 AM
My mother died 17 yrs ago before pension age,she always said her pension stated if she died before 70 we would get lump sum,my sister and me,she worked for over 20 yrs, and now nothing,we asked someone yrs ago and got told we wouldn't get it as we were on benefits, feels like its been lying there,due to my mum and she's worked for nothing,after losing life at 53. Was going to ask legal company to try get it for us
Bowly - 24-Apr-17 @ 12:53 AM
My father lived with me and collected social security and pension and he helped me with my bills he died unexpectedly on ne from a hard attack and I called his pension and they said he didn't put a beneficiary down so I couldn't qualify for anything to have my Dads funeral so I had ro raise the money. My Dad told me he had life insurance but his Job he retired from stated he did not have anything I know my Dad thought he was set because he had diabetes and was on dialysis and he wouldn't want us his children to not have the funds to give him a funeral. My Dad wasnt like that I think because he was on medication lots of pills and insulin for his diabetes he mistakenly thought his life insurance was covered because he worked so long 17 plus years with the wine group they didnt want to assist me at all.........all they did was send me a letter to send them my father's death certification when they could of paid for it themselves. Can you please help me I am a single mom and my Dad helped me with bills because I work partime because I been diagnosed with anxiety panic attack depression disorder this is all so overwhelming because I been a Daddys girl for 35 years now my Dad is gone.
Steph - 15-Apr-17 @ 12:26 AM
sam - Your Question:
Was wondering if you could help I am trying to trace my Fathers pension from quite a few years ago and I do not know where to start.Any help would be much appreciated

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here. I hope this helps.
UnclaimedFinances - 15-Mar-17 @ 10:09 AM
Was wondering if you could help I am trying to trace my Fathers pension from quite a few years ago and I do not know where to start. Any help would be much appreciated
sam - 14-Mar-17 @ 4:09 PM
My dad served in army for nine years in 60 s.but never had a pension ??????? Doesn't sound right
Barry Wilson - 22-Feb-17 @ 6:44 PM
My estranged husband sadly died last year and although he lived with a new partner we never divorced yet his partner is claiming his pensions, how is this possible especially as he has 3 children? His partner asked me for copy of our seperation agreement so i contacted my solicitor for it . I was informed by my solicitor that as there was no clause in the agreement saying it was a full and final settlement so I was legally entitled to the pension and his partner would not be able to access it. I also have his will which she was informed off which named me as benificiary. How can I find out how she has been able to do this? Thank you Donna
Little owl - 15-Jan-17 @ 1:49 PM
Hi. My dad died over 8 years ago and we received the money that he had already paid into his pension at that time. I've just found out by letter that we are due a lump sum after the company had an audit check done and this wasn't paid at the time. This has made me angry, happy and upset at the same time. However I was wondering that as it has taken them 8 years to pay this out- even though we notified them of his death at the time if we could claim for the changes in inflation/interest etc? They have said as they have just been notified we will not have to pay the 45% tax. But we notified them 8 years ago. I should also note that the company has been taken over. Thank you for your help in advance. I have further details if needed.
Meeshy - 4-Jan-17 @ 8:00 AM
Hi my mother in law has just mentioned her deceased husband had a pension in various jobs he had. He passed over 30 years ago. Is it possible to find out if she can claim part of his pension.He worked last on the QE2. He worked in various factories and the railway. Or is it far to late.She does not have much information.
Jay - 29-Dec-16 @ 2:31 PM
My widowed mother in law lost her husband over 30 years ago and has just mentioned that he payed into pensions. Is it a lost cause looking for it? He worked last on the Q.E 2 Ship last but had worked on the railway and various factories.
Jay - 29-Dec-16 @ 2:25 PM
I wondering if you can help me track my dads pension he has worked for many years and is getting the standard pension
Ditta - 22-Dec-16 @ 5:36 PM
hello i was in town and a friend said to me do you know your brother had a pension at a slaughter house private pension i think as i have one myself from there when i worked therewell my brother passed away over 5yrs ago and he was not married he had no net of kin i believe i want to know if i can claim my brothers pension as it was i great sum he had put awayif so please send me details and who i should contact should i get a lawyer to help me sort this on on legal aid as i am out of work thanks mr anthony readman
blackadder - 30-Nov-16 @ 12:30 PM
Hi my mum passed away very suddenly in june of this year with no death policy or saving i have had to have loans to pay for her funeral but she may have had pensions or policy's that she paid into when she very first worked and maybe even in her school job she did years ago does any body know who i can contact or have a address i could write to find out many thanks in advance
trace - 6-Nov-16 @ 11:39 AM
DonnaL - Your Question:
My brother passed away just 2 years ago but had served in the British army for 9 years. I was wondering as he wasn't married and doesn't have children what happens to his pension pot? Could you point me in the right direction please

Our Response:
You can see more via the link here which explain who can and cannot claim the pension.
UnclaimedFinances - 29-Sep-16 @ 12:57 PM
My brother passed away just 2 years ago but had served in the British army for 9 years. I was wondering as he wasn't married and doesn't have children what happens to his pension pot? Could you point me in the right direction please
DonnaL - 28-Sep-16 @ 4:38 PM
My grandfather has recently passed away and we are unsure as to the details of his private pension scheme. How would I go about finding out which pension he was in and who would be able to claim for it?
Craigan - 24-Jun-16 @ 2:06 PM
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