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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