What is Unclaimed Money?

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What is Unclaimed Money?

In 2018‐2019 there was $997 million* in unclaimed money sitting with ASIC so this account has increased dramatically over the last few years. It’s important that individuals endeavor to recover these funds or enlist an Refund Service Provider to do it for them.


Where Does Unclaimed Money Come From?

  • Bank accounts
  • Forgotten accounts
  • Uncashed cheques
  • Tax returns
  • Unclaimed dividend payments
  • Capital payouts
  • Life insurance policies
  • Shares and Investments
  • Refunds
  • Lottery winnings
  • Security deposits
  • Deceased estates where beneficiaries can’t be found or contacted

What Does The Unclaimed Money Association Do?

Bank accounts become government revenue after seven years if the account is inactive (no deposits or withdrawals). This changed from three years in December 2015.

When a company, solicitor or government department tries to make a payment to you, but the cheque is not cashed, or they are unable to find you, the money may be classified as unclaimed. Businesses are required by law to turn unclaimed funds over to be held in trust accounts by the government until the money is claimed.

The most common form of unclaimed money for individuals is through old or forgotten superannuation accounts. Sometimes if you change workplaces or careers, the new business that you are working for may use a different superannuation company, and unless you take the appropriate measures to transfer your account across, your money could be forgotten and left to sit in an unused account, which if left for too long, will be handed over to the government where they will decide what to do with the funds.



Unclaimed Money Laws in Australia

Unclaimed money is administered under the relevant Unclaimed Money ACT and administered by the ACT and the state laws relevant to the specific administering authority, as well as relevant banking laws, deceased estate regulations, superannuation legislation, etc. The complexity of the regulations creates the need for consumer assistance & support via our association as well as via the services of professional unclaimed money Refund Service Provider .

There have recently been changes to the laws regarding unclaimed money in Australia, updated by the Commonwealth Government in December 2012. The new laws state that bank accounts, which are deemed ‘inactive’ (meaning that the customer has not used the account to make any transactions within the last three years), must be reported and transferred to the government unless the account meets the qualifications for exemption. Up until December 2012, the unclaimed monies regime applied to bank accounts without activity for more than seven years.

Once the report and transfer are made, the money goes to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund and the information about the account is held by ASIC. There are also changes to lost superannuation accounts, stating that lost super accounts worth less than $2,000 will now be transferred to the tax office after one year, instead of five.

Become a Member Of The Unclaimed Money Association

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