Millions of people missing out on £2,000 lost cash – how to claim | The Sun

MILLIONS of people are missing out on lost cash in old bank accounts – and it could be worth thousands of pounds.

Around 20million people have money that's been left unclaimed worth a combined £50billion.

That's an average amount of £2,173 each, according to figures from Gretel, which helps people track down what they are owed.

And it's not just forgotten cash in bank accounts that could give you an unexpected payout.

Old pensions, investments, Premium Bonds and life insurance policies could give you a cash boost if you track them down.

It comes as a major unclaimed assets register is set to close at the end of the month.

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Experian lets you search around 80 different providers and 4.5million records, though for a fee of £25.

Current accounts and savings accounts that haven't been touched in 15 years can be raided with the money going to good causes.

And a change to the rules on dormant assets means this will soon apply to insurance, pensions and other investments too.

You can still get the cash back under the scheme though, as you can still apply for it after the 15 years has passed.

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Tracking down what you're owed could be easier than you think.

Although the Experian scheme is closing, you can still track down lost cash on other ways, and it's mostly free to do it yourself.

Are you sitting on a lost pot of cash waiting to be discovered? Here's how you can track down old accounts…

How to track down lost accounts

If you can remember your bank or building society, contact them directly in the first instance.

You can use the free site to check if the company has changed its name, and to check for its contact details.

If you can't remember the details, or your bank or building society says it can't help, you can use the free My Lost Account tracing service.

There are over 70 providers signed up the scheme, including all major banks, all 43 UK building societies, and National Savings & Investments (NS&I) – including the old Post Office Savings Bank accounts.

You should get a response from providers within three months.

As NS&I is included, this means you'll find out if you've got any lost Premium Bonds too.

Once you know you've got them, you can use NS&I's free online prize checker tool to see if you've won any Premium Bond prizes.

You can reclaim wins all the way back to June 1957.

Child Trust Funds

Millions of parents could be missing out on up to £1,500 stashed away in a Child Trust Fund in their child's name.

Children born between  September 1, 2002 and August 2, 2010, were given a government bonus of £250 each through the tax-free scheme when they were born, and then another £250 when the child reached the age of seven.

While children born between August 3, 2010 and January 2, 2011 got £50.

Lower income families would receive double the amount – adding to up to £1,000 in savings.

The average account lying unclaimed in these accounts is £1,500 – many parents and family members also paid into the accounts at the start.

If you don't know if your child has one, use the government's free online tool.

You’ll need a government "Gateway" ID to do this, although if you don't have one you can create one when you fill in the online form.

HMRC will then get back to you, usually within three weeks.

The Sun previously spoke to one mum who found £800 in her son's missing Child Trust Fund.

Lost insurance policies

How to reclaim lost insurance policies depends on the type of policy you have.

If you know the name of the company, first use the free site to check if the company has changed its name, and to uncover its contact details.

For those who can't remember the name, trade body the Association of British Insurers (ABI) suggests checking for lost life insurance policies using credit reference agency Experian's Unclaimed Assets Register.

Just bear in mind that this service costs £25 for each search.

For car insurance policies, check the Motor Insurer's Bureau Database.

When it comes to travel, home and other insurance policies, unfortunately there is no central policy database you can check.

Your best bet is to check bank and credit card statements for recurring payments or direct debits to an insurer.

Lost pensions

We have an average of 11 jobs during our working lives, which makes it easy to lose track of workplace pensions.

Meanwhile, personal pensions can get lost when you move house, change your name or don't update your personal details.

If you know the pension provider or employer, the Pension Tracing Service – the government's free tracing service – will find you the contact details needed to start your search.

But it won't be able to tell you whether you have a pension or what its value is.

The Pensions Advisory Service is another free service with a pension tracing tool, but again it warns that it may struggle to help if you're unable to provide key details.

We spoke to one saver who discovered a missing pension pots worth £27,000.

Lost investments

If you're struggling to find a record of your investments, you can check by getting in contact with the company you have shares in.

There are also three main company registers which hold all this information – Computershare, Equiniti, and Link Asset Services.

But keep in mind that they will charge you a replacement shares certificate, although they'll conduct a search for free.

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Alternatively, you can try contacting trade bodies the Investment Association or the Association of Investment Companies.

The amount you could claim back would depend on how much you've invested.

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