A £20 billion cash mountain is piling because an ever-growing number of workers are losing touch with their retirement savings.
Around 1.6 million missing savers have an average £13,000 waiting for them if they get in touch with their pension providers.
The data comes from research for pension provider trade body the Association of British Insurers.
And the ABI is concerned the figure could be even higher as the survey only looked at private pensions without getting to grip with public sector pensions for millions more workers.
The ABI wants more retirement savers to check their financial record to see if they are owed a share of the cash.
In 2017, pension firms tried to reunite 375,000 customers with over £1 billion of savings, but their records go back decades and are failing to keep up with a mobile population that often moves home and forgets to tell them about the change.
Around two-thirds of workers have at least two pensions – and many have more as workers are likely to have 11 jobs throughout their working life while moving home eight times.
Government data estimates savers will have lost touch with 50 million pensions by 2050.
“These findings highlight the jaw-dropping scale of the lost pensions problem. Unclaimed pensions can make a real difference to millions of savers who have simply lost touch with their pension providers,” said Dr Yvonne Braun, the ABI’s director of long-term savings and protection
Lost nest eggs
“The industry has stepped up its efforts to re-connect savers with their lost nest eggs, developing a new framework launched earlier this year to help pension providers trace ‘gone-away’ customers more consistently. But industry efforts can only go so far – we need a radical digital solution to cope with the way society is changing, or the problem will get worse.
“It is important that the government stands by its promises to take forward the Pensions Dashboard. This project has cross-party support, with the backing of consumer groups, and could mean a more secure retirement for millions of savers.”
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