min read
· Posted on
February 21, 2024

There’s $1.5 billion of unclaimed money out there…

$1.5 billion worth of unclaimed money?! Could some of yours?!

What's the key learning?

  • What is unclaimed money?
  • Where does unclaimed money go? Who looks after it?
  • How do I find out if there's any unclaimed money under my name?
  • How do I make sure my money doesn't become unclaimed
  • Places to check for unclaimed money.

Did you know there’s currently $1.5 BILLION of unclaimed money in Australia. That’s on average $60 per Australian!

Unclaimed money is money from lost bank accounts, shares, other investments, life insurance policies. You’re probably wondering, how does this money become lost?

Often when people move houses, change their names and forget to update institutions like banks with these changes, the money gets lost.

If a bank account has been inactive for seven years, it becomes unclaimed. Same goes for life insurance policies that aren’t touched for seven years after the policy matures.

Where does unclaimed money go?

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) receives unclaimed money and transfers it to what’s called the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The money sits there and can be claimed at any time - there’s no deadline.

Legit - free money…just sitting there.

How do I find out if I have unclaimed money?

The Australian government’s Money Smart website has a search function where you can look up your name, and see if there’s any unclaimed money registered from lost shares, bank accounts or life insurance.

You can look for other types of unclaimed money too via other government websites. 

For example, you can search for lost superannuation on the ATO website, or check Services Australia to make sure you’re getting all your Medicare benefits.

Check out the links below of the different places you can check for unclaimed money.

When you do search up your name, it’s worthwhile trying different variations of your name, eg. first name and surname, just surname, surname followed by initials, maiden name etc.

If you find there’s money unclaimed under your name, you can lodge a claim directly. Links on where to lodge a claim are available on the Money Smart website here.

How do I make sure my money doesn’t become unclaimed

Keep financial and government institutions up to date when any changes to your details eg. if you move houses, get a new phone number, change your name - update organisations who have your old details on file.

Also, if you’ve got old bank accounts, make a small deposit (like $1) or a withdrawal to make sure it’s not sitting idle for 7 years.

Go have a suss, you never know there might be a small treasure unclaimed under your name.

Places to check for unclaimed money:

  1. Money Smart
  2. State governments
  3. State Revenue Office
  4. Australian Taxation Office
  5. Services Australia

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