Unclaimed money accumulates in government accounts waiting for the rightful owners to make a claim. There are literally hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed money in Australia with many people unaware of how to find it.
Where does this unclaimed money come from?
People lose track of money, often due to a change of address, moving overseas, forgetting about an investment or a million other reasons. It could even be the dividends for some shares you bought and then sold 10 years ago.
Do people really lose track of their money?
Yes, relatives and beneficiaries simply do not know that there is unclaimed money that belongs to them and there is no way for them to be notified. The only way they can find this money is by completing a search themselves – meaning no one is going to reach out and just hand you the lost money. Makes sense, considering these millions of dollars are sitting in a government account (probably a high interest account at that!).
How to claim your lost money
You will need to check with ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) as they control the central database for lost money.
Searches can be made on ASIC’s Money Smart Website.
Some instances where you could be owed money:
- Dividends from shares.
- You may have cancelled some form of insurance and never received your refund.
- You could have had a savings account you forgot about.
- You may have multiple lost super accounts from previous jobs.
- You may have a small allocation of shares in a company that then sold.
- You may have a generic banking account that hasn’t been accessed in 7 years
- The list can go on and on.
You can quickly see how many scenarios result in lost and unclaimed money starting to add up in Australia.
How to claim your lost money back
Start today by doing a quick search under all variations of your name, tax file number and previous addresses. Simply visit the Money Smart website.
We suggest doing this every year at least twice, there may just be a nice little surprise waiting for you!
Tell us your unclaimed money story
We would love to hear some exciting stories of people who found some money using this tool. Please share with us below via a comment!