You could be rich and not even know it – see the unclaimed cash by state

Melissa Jenkins
(Australian Associated Press)

You could be a lot richer than you think.

Australians are being urged to check if they have a share in $1.1 billion of unclaimed cash left dormant in shares, bank and insurance accounts.

After seven years, the untouched money is transferred to the Commonwealth.

A quick search of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) MoneySmart website will reveal if any of the unclaimed cash is yours.

“There are more than a million records of unclaimed money from dormant bank accounts, life insurance, shares and other investments waiting to be claimed and we’re keen to reunite people with their money,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.

People may have unclaimed money if they have moved house without letting their bank know or have not made a transaction on their cheque or savings account for seven years.

Cash may also be unclaimed if a person stops making payments on a life insurance policy or fails to claim a mature policy.

Last year, more than $87 million was paid to more than 16,000 people, Mr Kell said.

Some people have just a few dollars unclaimed while others have more than one million.

Once a person has found unclaimed money using ASIC’s MoneySmart online search, they should contact the relevant bank or financial institution where the money is held if the cash is listed as banking or life insurance.

The institution will assess and lodge a claim with ASIC, which will then process the claim and release the funds.

UNCLAIMED CASH BY STATE

NSW: $380 million

VIC: $197 million

QLD: $112 million

WA: $75 million

SA: $35 million

ACT: $15 million

$9 million

Source: ASIC

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