Aussies urged to claim their share

With many retirees looking for any help to make ends meet, the idea that they may have unclaimed money sitting in the ether has most likely not crossed their minds.

From unclaimed super to money left in old bank accounts, it’s estimated that there is around $1.1 billion in orphaned cash just sitting in financial and government institutions all over the country.

According to Money Magazine editor, Effie Zahos, who spoke with Today this week, there are simple ways for you to find those forgotten funds.

Anyone who has worked in a few jobs, even part-time or casually, may have one of Australia’s 6 million unclaimed super accounts.

To find out if you have one of them, you need to visit the ATO’S MyGov website. Sign up for the MyGov account and you can quickly see if you have any lost super accounts. But Ms Zahos says you should take care when doing so.

“You just need to be careful. Sometimes you may have a super fund that has great insurance and if you close that, you may not be eligible to get such great insurance back,” she said.

“It’s good to get some advice before you dump your fund.”

Banks are home to around $600 million in unclaimed money. To find out if some of it is yours, go to the Unclaimed Money’ page on www.moneysmart.gov.au.

“All you do is type in your name and voila the money is there,” said Ms Zahos.

“The weird thing is, the unclaimed money earns more interest than it does in my own bank account.”

There is also an estimated $400 million in lost shares hanging about. Again, to find out if you’re a beneficiary, head to www.moneysmart.gov.au and type in your name.

“With shares all you do is fill in the forms online. It takes a few seconds out of your day to do,” she said.

So, why let the money sitting around the traps go to waste? Wouldn’t that money be better off in your pocket?

Have you ever checked if you had unclaimed money sitting around? Did you ever find a lost super fund? Have you checked the MoneySmart website to see if you could gain an unexpected windfall?

Related articles:
ATO wants to give away billions
Is some of this $1.1b yours?
$18 billion super bonanza

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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