What is unclaimed money?
Unclaimed money is money from lost bank accounts, shares, investments and life insurance policies. This money becomes lost when you move house and forget to update your details with a financial institution or company.
Unclaimed money received by ASIC is transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund. It is available to be claimed at any time by the rightful owner and there is no time limit on claims.
Bank accounts become unclaimed after 7 years if the account is inactive (no deposits or withdrawals). Life insurance policies become unclaimed 7 years after the policy matures and is not claimed.
INTEREST PAID ON UNCLAIMED MONEY
Interest is paid on unclaimed money, calculated from 1 July 2013.
How to claim your lost money
If you did an unclaimed money search and found some money, you should lodge a claim. Claim details are below for different types of lost money:
- Bank accounts and bank dividends
- Life insurance policies
- Shares and investments
Didn’t find any lost money?
You can search for other types of unclaimed money on other government websites:
- Australian Taxation Office – Search for lost superannuation by registering for the Australian Taxation Office’s online services via myGov.
- State government – Search State government websites for deceased estates, lost share dividends, salaries and wages, cheques, over-payments, proceeds of sale and more.
- Fair Work Ombudsman – Search the Fair Work Ombudsman website for unpaid wages.
How to stop your money from becoming unclaimed
Here are some ways you can stop your money from becoming unclaimed:
- Make a deposit – For bank accounts, make a small deposit (even 5 cents will do) or a small withdrawal at least once every 7 years.
- Update your details – If you move, change your email, change your phone number or change your name, make sure you tell your financial institution, or other organisations that you have financial arrangements with.
Paying an unclaimed money search company
You may have been asked to pay for an unclaimed money search or for a private money search company to find your money for you, but you can use our search for free. ASIC does not ask people to pay for searches.
FAQs on the unclaimed money search
WHAT RESULTS ARE SHOWN?
Data shown on this unclaimed money search is the result of lodgements from various banks, building societies, credit union, life companies, friendly societies and registered Australian companies. ASIC does not guarantee the quality or consistency of the input data as this information was supplied by the various institutions.
WHAT IS AN ORIGINAL TRANSACTION NUMBER (OTN)?
Each unclaimed money record within this database is given a unique OTN. When you find a relevant record (by searching your name), record the OTN as you will need it to make a claim. The OTN will also help you relocate that record in future and will assist ASIC if we need to discuss your claim.
DO I USE MY NAME OR THE DECEASED PERSON’S NAME IN A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY SEARCH?
Records relating to life insurance policies vary slightly to that of banks and companies as the policy owner may be different from the life insured. When you do a name search, both of these names are searched. For example, if you search for ‘Robert Smith’, any life policy which has Robert Smith as either the owner of the policy or the life insured will be displayed.
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Source: ASIC MoneySmart JULY 30, 2020