There’s around $1 billion of lost money to be claimed from bank accounts, shares, investments and life insurance policies. We explain how it becomes unclaimed and how to find out if you have lost money.
The ‘unclaimed money’ which ASIC administers is money in bank accounts and life insurance policies which has not been touched or claimed for a certain amount of time.
This can happen when people change address or go overseas and forget to update their details with a financial institution or company that holds the money or are unaware there is money to which they have a rightful claim.
Since 2015, the time after which money becomes ‘unclaimed’ in bank accounts is seven years; previously, it was three years. Find out more about the 2015 changes to unclaimed money.
Life insurance policies become unclaimed 7 years after the policy matures and is not claimed.
Unclaimed money received by ASIC is transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund. ASIC maintains and publishes a database of unclaimed money records which helps people find and claim their lost money. The rightful owner can claim their money at any time – there is no time limit.
Interest is payable to the claimant on the unclaimed money held by ASIC since 1 July 2013. Find out how interest is paid.
Finding unclaimed money is easy. Simply use the unclaimed money search on ASIC’s MoneySmart website. If the name you are searching for has unclaimed money, you will see the details of how to make a claim.
If a private money search company approaches you to find money for you for a fee, remember that you can search unclaimed money for free on the MoneySmart website.
There are other processes for tracking and claiming lost superannuation, money held by state governments, and unpaid wages on these government websites:
- Australian Taxation Office – Find lost superannuation by registering for the Australian Taxation Office’s online services on myGov.
- State government – Find lost money from deceased estates, lost share dividends, salaries and wages, cheques, over-payments, proceeds of sale and more.
- Fair Work Ombudsman – Find unpaid wages.