The organisation behind the Premium Bond scheme has revealed that around £60 million worth of prizes are still waiting to be collected.
NS&I have said that there are often a number of reasons for bonds going unclaimed, including the fact that people lose their paperwork or were given bonds at a young age and were unaware that they still held them.
However, it is also likely that the winner may have passed away and relatives either aren’t aware or don’t believe they can collect rewards from the bond.
NS&I has confirmed that where they are made aware of a death the Premium Bond is kept in the prize draw for up to 12 months after the date of a person passing and that executors of the estate are still able to claim the prize money up to this point. After this period the bond is withdrawn and must be cashed in instead.
Where NS&I isn’t aware of the registered death, the bond still remains in the prize draw but the estate is only eligible to claim prizes won in the 12 months after the date of the holder’s death.
In order to track down potential rewards, family members or executors of an estate must use the NS&I tracing service to see if a deceased person had any Premium Bonds. This can also be used to check whether any individual, whether living or dead, holds bonds.
Unfortunately for relatives, NS&I is not part of the new online Death Notification Service, which is designed to help executors notify financial service providers and so the organisation must be informed directly instead.
Link: NS&I tracing service