Just imagine, you could have thousands or more in lost money that is waiting to be claimed.
ASIC has reported there is $600 million in unclaimed money, sitting idle in government accounts that has been either lost or forgotten about by Australian consumers. Combined with $13 billion in lost superannuation, the time is now to search for your lost money and reclaim your share.
Here is how you can find your potential lost money.
Firstly, where on earth does this unclaimed money come from?
It is inevitable that people will occasionally lose track of their money. It may be an investment they made many years ago or a set of dividends from some shares they sold in the past.
You may have since moved addresses, changed phone numbers or even changed your name through marriage. As a result, the institutions that were holding your money have been unable to locate you.
This in turn goes on for a number of years before the money becomes delegated to ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission) and deposited into the big old $600 million account they have. The hope is that you will one day be contacted and the money returned to its rightful owner.
The problem however is that unless you do a search for yourself, it will likely stay forever lost.
Here are a few ways you may have lost some money
- You cancelled an insurance policy but never received the refunded premium.
- You earnt dividends on shares
- You may have forgot about a savings account you setup
- You have numerous superannuation accounts from past employment
- You bought shares in a private company that went public
- You or a family member may have a bank account that has been idle for 7 years
- Your late relatives had money you didn’t know about that you are entitled to
How do you reclaim this money?
Firstly, do a search on ASIC’s unclaimed money website.
Simply enter your name (and many variations of your name just in case) and submit. For instance, a search for Alex Smith should be done using names such as: Alex Smith, Alexander Smith, Alexander Middlename Smith, etc. Some baby boomers even worked under aliases in order to avoid tax in their early working careers, can you remember your made up name?
From there you can reach out to the companies involved and prove your identity to claim your lost money.
I have heard some fantastic stories of people searching on behalf of their late family members only to find money that was tucked away in numerous sources unbeknownst to their relatives.
Not sure where all your superannuation accounts might be? Then check out the free SuperSeeker tool from the ATO. All you need is your tax file number, your family and given name and your date of birth. It takes about 5 minutes.
Enjoy the search, you never know what you might find.
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||Alex Wilson is the founder and editor of Savings Guide, Australia’s number one saving money website. For regular money saving tips, visit Savings Guide or follow Savings Guide on Facebook.