How to track down missing money – A Resolver Guide

3 min read
May 26, 2022
Missing money - towers of money with magnifying glass

Let’s face it, there’s not much to cheer about in the news at the moment. Resolver understands that the cost-of-living crisis is getting many of you down. Resolver has put together a guide to find some practical, realistic money saving tips to help you beat rising costs. Starting with money you may have forgotten all about… 

Lost money – three places to look

You may be able to claim back a lot of money that you might have overpaid accidentally, or cash that was taken in error. But there might be even more money lurking in other places. Here’s a quick guide.

How to find dormant accounts

Did you know that if you don’t use a bank or savings account for a while, the business closes it? They must give you a warning that this is going to happen, but this is usually by letter – and if you’ve moved home then you may well not realise. This is known as ‘dormancy’ the rather bureaucratic term for shutting an account and sitting on the cash. 

However, you can claim back dormant account balances and now it’s easier than ever. My Lost Account – https://www.mylostaccount.org.uk/ – is a free service set up by the British Banker’s Association (BBA) which allows you to search bank accounts, savings accounts and even National Savings and Investments (NS&I) by filling out one single form. As always, the more you can remember about when the account was set up the better. A word of warning – a lost pocket/paying in book found in a drawer isn’t ‘proof’ of missing money. It’s possible to withdraw a balance without the book, so don’t assume that finding an old one means a passport to big money! 

If you’re missing investments, then the Experian-run Unclaimed Assets Register may be able to help you search, though there is a fee: https://www.uar.co.uk/

How to find lost pensions

The Pension Tracing Service is a completely free service that can help you track down a missing workplace pension. This matters because many of us will change jobs repeatedly in our working lives – and as a result you can struggle to find old schemes you’ve paid in to. The Pension Tracing Service can help you by trawling through 320,000 pension schemes. It’s dead easy, so get started here right now!  https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details 

It’s estimated that around £20 billion is lying around in ‘lost’ pensions, waiting to be identified by its owner. However, wherever there’s easy money waiting to be claimed, there are businesses that will charge you for doing something you can do yourself for free. So watch those Google ads and stick to the official tracing service mentioned above. 

How to claim overpaid council tax

It’s surprisingly easy to overpay council tax. People usually pay the tax in advance and spread the payments over 10 months, which means most of us who pay regularly will be in credit. When you move to a new area, it isn’t necessarily returned back to you – especially if you are not paying by direct debit. 

Sometimes you can be owed quite bit of cash. This can happen when the people who live in your property after you get the home rebanded (so the property is in a cheaper band). This can mean you could be entitled to a significant refund for the period you overpaid.  

Don’t rush to the council just yet though. Most councils are flooded by complaints about the Government’s £150 rebate, so they probably won’t be able to cope with people calling for a refund of overpayments. Why not check online with the council in the area you used to live to see if they have an online form that you can fill in?

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