Research from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) revealed 800,000 lost pensions worth an estimated £9.7 billion.
If scaled up to the whole market, it estimates there are collectively around 1.6 million pots worth £19.4 billion unclaimed – the equivalent of nearly £13,000 per pot.
But even more concerning, the ABI said the overall lost pensions figure is likely to be even higher.
This is due to the research not accounting for lost pensions held in the public sector, or with trust-based schemes typically run by employers.
The shocking figures came from findings carried out on behalf of the ABI by the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) who surveyed firms representing about half of the private defined contribution (DC) pensions market.
Yvonne Braun, the ABI’s director of long-term savings and protection, said: “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.
“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.”
In 2017, more than 375,000 attempts were made to contact customers, leading to £1 billion in assets being reunited with them.
But, the ABI said that with people often moving around, a pensions dashboard which would enable people to see all their pensions in one place online is now more important than ever.
People can use the Pension Tracing Service to track down lost pensions at www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details.
Source : EXPRESS