Britain's missing billions: £2m already claimed in lost pensions and investments

More than two million pounds has been recovered by ITV viewers in unclaimed pensions, investments, and benefits.

The moment one woman finds out she had £34,000 in lost funds after ITV News reported there is an estimated unclaimed £89bn in places such as bank accounts, insurance policies and pensions, as Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports

More than £2m has been recovered by ITV viewers in unclaimed pensions, investments, and benefits.

It follows an ITV Tonight programme, which included research from asset-hunting service Gretel, that suggested there is an estimated £89bn in lost funds, including bank accounts, insurance policies, pensions and Child Trust Funds.

That’s billions of pounds spanning around 28 million lost accounts, including around 2.8 million pension pots.

The problem is deepening because auto-enrolment of workers into pension schemes is leading to more and more lost pots.

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi looked at the impact of producing the programme

“It’s great when a TV report makes a difference – even a small one. The news that our reports on unclaimed assets led to more than £2m being traced for ITV viewers gave our team a sense of pride.

“But the celebrations are short-lived because billions of pounds remains unclaimed. We are aiming to put plenty of helpful advice on our website, some of which can be found at the bottom of this article.

“The latest estimates suggest there are £2.5bn in forgotten stocks and shares. Around £8bn in unclaimed life insurance is the current estimate, along with more than £64bn in ‘lost’ pensions.

“It’s easy to see how so many customers lose touch with money that is due to them.

“Changes of address and of name, especially as women marry, add to the complexity of keeping tabs on the customers of investment firms. Financial firms themselves often change names, merge or demutualise.

“All this contributes to the complexity of life and has left billions of pounds in unclaimed assets.

“We have now met so many people who have traced their ‘forgotten fortunes’; pensions, Child Trust Funds, dormant bank accounts and old investments.

“Some have been reunited with tens of thousands of pounds and all of them have put the effort in to trace what is rightfully theirs.”

How can I check if I’m entitled?

The independent benefit calculators available via and the free Help to Claim support from Citizens Advice are available to help people check their eligibility and claim Universal Credit.

The Money & Pensions Service has lots of advice on financial wellbeing when it comes to pensions, as does My Lost Account. Share Found is a useful resource for anybody looking to trace child trust funds.

Many charities, debt help organisations and Citizens Advice also offer help, including entitlement calculators.

Those with dormant bank accounts can use the My Lost Account website to trace them, as well as Premium Bonds.

Another useful website is You only need to register once to get searching and it only takes a few minutes.

You can check your eligibility for benefits at

Asset tracing specialist Duncan Stevens has shared his top tips to find your missing money.

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