Updated: Sep 12
Aussies could potentially claim back over $8,290 of their own money by searching 3 big 'pots of cash' that hold more than $20 billion in unclaimed money and refunds.
Joel Gibson recently spoke to TODAY about the cash that's up for grabs if you know where to hunt for it. Here's what he told them.
Why is there so much of our money sitting with governments and banks?
There are lots of reasons why we might have lost money - people move house, people change jobs, people pass away. It might happen because a cheque or payment to you has bounced and therefore that money has to be transferred to government after a certain period.
Also, millions of Australians could be owed refunds from their banks for dodgy insurance premiums and advice fees that were charged over the past decade.
Basically there are 3 big pots of cash you need to check:
First is Governments, which are holding billions of our 'unclaimed money' and the biggest individual claims have been around $1 million. It's a combination of lost shares, dividends, bank accounts and life insurance payouts.
Second is the ATO, which has around 6 million lost super accounts waiting to be claimed.
Third is banks: All sorts of unacceptable practices were exposed by the Royal Commission so banks have put aside over $5 billion to be refunded, but you have to claim your refund to get it back.
How can we find out if the government has some of our money?
There are 3 places to search for unclaimed money but they only take a couple of minutes each:
The ATO is holding over $13 billion of lost and unclaimed super accounts, with an average of about $2300 in each account. Search for that in your MyGov account.
The ASIC website has a search page for federal government money.
State governments have their own websites for state government money so check your local state government site for unclaimed money.
You can also search for other people so maybe surprise your family members with a windfall!
How can we find out if our bank owes us a refund?
So far banks have paid back around $1.3 billion in refunds for insurance and advice, but that leaves a lot of refunds still to be claimed.
I estimate up to 1 in 4 Australians have paid for junk insurance, for example, and could be due a refund.
Remediator is one of half a dozen refund services that help Australians to hunt down their refunds and their average refund is over $2000.
You've got 3 choices to see if you're owed money: contact the bank yourself, join a class action, or ask one of these new services to check if you're owed any money.
Junk Insurance Refunds are a relatively new way of claiming money back since the Banking Royal Commission. Anyone who has ever had a credit card, car loan, or personal loan could be eligible.
Remediator helps Australians claim refunds from their bank, insurer or financial adviser if they have been mis-sold products/services, or paid for goods/services they did not receive. Remediator works on a no-win-no-fee basis: if Remediator can’t secure a refund, there’s no fee. If successful, Remediator’s fee is 30% plus GST of the refund amount.