Unclaimed booty reaches $677 million

Australians are missing out of millions of dollars of their own money.
 
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01.New record

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The amount of unclaimed money collected from inactive bank accounts and life insurance policies by ASIC has hit a record $677 million.

The funds are transferred from inactive accounts in order to prevent them being eroded by penalties and fees. Under changes announced by the federal government in the mid-year budget, these funds will be collected by ASIC after three years of inactivity, rather than seven.

Have you misplaced $990,000 recently?

The largest amount currently being held by ASIC is $992,750 from Carlisle, Western Australia. The top nine largest pots of unclaimed money add up to a whopping $5.5 million.

“Across Australia, over one million people could be sitting on a windfall without even knowing it” says Secretary to the Treasurer, Bernie Ripoll.

“One of the common reasons why people lose their money is due to a simple change in address.”

You have unclaimed money if you:

  • Haven’t made a transaction on your account for over seven years
  • Stopped making payments on a life insurance policy
  • Moved without leaving a forwarding address;
  • Have noticed that regular dividend or interest cheques have stopped coming
  • Were the executor of a deceased estate

Consumers are being encouraged to check if they have unclaimed money by doing a free search on ASIC’s MoneySmart website. Last year, Australians recovered $56 million using ASIC’s Unclaimed Money Service.

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