Unclaimed Monies

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS to those in the know) reports that during the March 2021 quarter over 100,000 Australians moved interstate.

Many more Australians moved within their own state – and no doubt many moved within their own region.

When people move, they often forget to update their address details – with their share registries, their life insurance companies, their superannuation providers, amongst many others.

As you can imagine, without correct contact details, many letters and documents are not received.

When an entity holding someone else’s money cannot locate a person, after a time, the money is said to be ‘unclaimed’. After a period of inactivity (usually years) on a bank account, a bank account is also deemed ‘unclaimed’.

When money becomes ‘unclaimed’ it is handed to government organisations to ‘look after’ until the money is claimed.

Unclaimed money can be held by the local State Treasury, the organisation where the funds were lost, in Consolidated Revenue by the Commonwealth Government or by the ATO.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) report there is over $1.1 billion in lost shares, bank accounts and life insurance for which they are responsible to administer.

In terms of lost superannuation held by the ATO, the ATO reports that there was $17.5 billion waiting to be found in either unclaimed or lost superannuation. The ATO reports that one account in New South Wales is worth $2.2 million!

According to the ATO, the postcode in WA with the highest amount of lost or unclaimed superannuation is Mandurah and surrounds (postcode 6210) with almost 11,000 accounts lost or unclaimed and having a value of almost $44 million.

In Margaret River, there are around 1800 lost or unclaimed superannuation funds with total value of over $10 million. Witchcliffe’s postcode has 115 lost or unclaimed superannuation fund accounts equating to almost $750,000. Cowaramup has 363 lost or unclaimed superannuation funds amounting to almost $2 million of lost super. Augusta reports 202 lost or unclaimed super funds equating to almost $800,000 of funds lost or unclaimed whilst Busselton’s postcode has almost $20 million of lost superannuation from over 3,500 funds.

If you have not recently undertaken a search for your own unclaimed superannuation or other money, perhaps it is time to do so.