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The government has $1.1 billion of our money and unsurprisingly, as a financial planner, I think it’s fair that we should get it back.
So why do they have it? Simply put, it’s because in most countries across the world, there are laws to ensure that unclaimed money is sent back to government agencies after a period of ‘inactive’ time, which in Australia is currently 7 years.
Inactivity can refer to any of the following – no contact details on file, no transactions on the account, or even returned mail. The laws state that it is the responsibility of the account holder to manage this, whilst ensuring that unclaimed funds don’t stay in the hands of businesses and used as profit.
So how do you check if you have any unclaimed money?
- 1. Have all your personal information handy, including full name (or maiden name), date of birth as well as any current or previous addresses
- 2. Check out these websites;
- 1. Money Smart – for an Australia wide search of banks and life insurance proceeds
- 2. Australian Tax Office – For lost super accounts
If you need help setting up your ‘mygov’ account, check here
- 3. State Revenue Office – (For unclaimed wages / rent bonds and other state based money)
- 4. Fairwork Australia – for unpaid wages (Note: You’ll need to provide a bit more information for this one)
- 3. Go through all your accounts and make sure they show your current contact details and that you keep them active (If you want them to stay in your hands)
- 4. Finally, clear some space out in your wallet for your lost millions.
I am pleased to say that one search with moneysmart came up trumps for me, and I now have and additional $1 to my name – owed to me from the bank back in 2012!
Still…better than nothing. Let me know how you get on!