PensionsJun 28 2018

Phoenix reunites £13m of lost cash with rightful owners

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Phoenix reunites £13m of lost cash with rightful owners

Phoenix has reunited lost policies worth almost £13m with their rightful owners.

The UK’s largest specialist consolidator of closed life and pension funds revealed it has undertaken a programme of extensive tracing work to reunite 2,380 unclaimed policies with their rightful owner or next of kin.

The insurer’s tracing work started in September 2016 and has so far reunited policies with a total value of £12.7m.

David Woollett, customer director at Phoenix Life said: “Policyholders have diligently saved for many years in their policies, and it is a tragedy that the benefits may have been left unclaimed.  We are delighted to have been able to repatriate so many of these lost policies with their rightful owners.

“Keeping personal information up to date with any financial service provider would ensure that  customers don’t miss any communications and would ease the processing of claims in retirement or maturity.”

These customer policies could have been left unclaimed for many years but Phoenix has introduced a proactive campaign to ensure the policyholder, or their estate, receives the benefits.

Lost policies often result from policyholders forgetting the policy exists as the insurer is unable to get in touch with them, most commonly as a result of lifestyle changes such as moving or getting married.

Phoenix has used a number of methods to locate these owners  including paying for external tracing companies, obtaining the death certificate, probate, copy of wills and DWP tracing.

Lost policies can be a particular issue for closed life books as policies under their stewardship can be many years old. 

When customers cannot be contacted, the funds remain with the insurer but will always be available for payment when the policyholder is traced or comes forward.

The news has been welcomed by Gemma Siddle, chartered financial planner for Newton Aycliffe-based Eldon Financial Planning,  who said: “It’s brilliant to see an insurer working to reunite the policies with their owners. Taking care such as this provides confidence that financial services companies are doing the right thing.”