Do you have any old bank accounts you’ve forgotten about? Perhaps you’ve lost track of life insurance policies, shares or other investments?
According to the Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, you’re not alone.
A total of $1.2 billion of unclaimed money from bank accounts, life insurance, shares, and other investments—held in 1.3 million individual records of unclaimed money—is waiting for its rightful owners, the Minister said in a statement released this week.1
“People are often pleasantly surprised when they search for their names using ASIC’s MoneySmart Unclaimed money search”, Minister O’Dwyer said.
“In the last financial year, more than 25,000 people made successful claims with $158.4 million paid out.”
Money from bank accounts, life insurance, shares, and other investments is defined as ‘unclaimed’ after seven years, which changed from three years on 31 December 2015.
This is separate to the rules around unclaimed (or ‘lost’) super, which super funds are required to transfer to the ATO under certain circumstances. These include not hearing from a member, not being able to contact them, or not receiving contributions to their account for a period of time.
The method to track down unclaimed super is also different: you can search for lost super by creating a MyGov account to use the ATO’s online services.
See ASIC’s MoneySmart Unclaimed Money tool to find out more.
1. O’Dwyer, K (2016), ‘Australians have $1.2 billion of unclaimed money’, media release, www.kellyodwyer.com.au/australians-have-1-2-billion-of-unclaimed-money