The government is urging Australian taxpayers to check whether a share of $1.1 billion of unclaimed money is theirs, after returning $87 million to its rightful owners in 2016.
ASIC says more than a million records of unclaimed money from dormant bank accounts, life insurance, shares and other investments are waiting to be claimed.
“We’re keen to reunite people with their money”, ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.
“Unclaimed money is transferred to the Commonwealth after it’s been unclaimed usually for seven years. The unclaimed money managed by ASIC is always claimable by the rightful owner with no time limit on claims. In 2016, over $87 million was paid out to more than 16,000 people,” Mr Kell said.
Taxpayers can use ASIC’s MoneySmart website to check for lost funds.
People commonly find they have unclaimed money if they:
- Have moved house without letting the bank or the institution know;
- Have not made a transaction on their cheque or savings account for seven years;
- Stopped making payments on a life insurance policy;
- Have noticed that regular dividend or interest cheques have stopped coming; or
- Were an executor of a deceased estate.