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Research estimates £37bn of pension pots lost or dormant across 1.6m savers

PENSION pots worth a total of £37bn are lost or dormant across 1.6 million savers in the UK, research from Gretel has found.

Gretel has launched an online dashboard that aims to reunite savers with lost and dormant accounts across the entire financial services industry, including pensions.

The firm stated that the tool had been launched at a “crucial time”, with an estimated £37bn in pensions having been lost or forgotten by their rightful owners at an average value of £23,125 per saver.

Gretel launched its dashboard alongside new research that discovered almost half (44 per cent) of all UK adults think they may have a lost or dormant account, yet only 13 per cent have ever tried to track them down.

The research also found that there were nearly 20 million customer accounts with a combined value of over £50bn that have been lost or forgotten in the UK, of which £37bn are in pensions, £5.3bn in lost investments and shares and £2.2bn in lost CTFs.

Gretel chief executive, Duncan Stevens, commented: “Gretel is a huge step forwards in solving the longstanding issue of dormant assets in financial services.

“Knowing the scale of what Gretel can achieve for people in the UK and how we can help people reconnect with their lost savings, pensions and bank accounts at this time.

“We are transforming a process that can take up to three months into three minutes and I am delighted that we have a chance to make a difference in people’s lives.

“At a time when the cost of living in the UK is at its highest level in 30 years, getting the £50bn of dormant, lost and unclaimed money from savings, investments and pensions back into the hands of the consumer, where it belongs, is more important than ever before.

“Gretel research shows that consumers have historically faced an array of barriers relating to cost, complexity and mis-communication when it comes to tracking down lost accounts; Gretel will help them overcome these hurdles and finally get back what is rightfully theirs.”

The company’s research also found that while the average value of a lost investment was over £2,800, a lost pension policy was typically greater, averaging more than £23,000 in value.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of consumers are of the view that the likely monetary value of any lost accounts will be too low to make a search worthwhile, rising to 34 per cent of those aged over 55.

Gretel’s research also found that of the 87 per cent of consumers that have never tried to track down a lost or dormant account.

Nearly a third (31 per cent) did not know where to start their search, 19 per cent did not know they could search for dormant accounts, 15 percent assumed it was too late and 10 per cent thought the searching costs would be too great.