In this article, Unclaimed money is money that belongs to you but has been forgotten or left behind in some accounts, such as bank accounts, shares, investments, or life insurance policies. This can happen when you move house, change your name, or lose contact with a financial institution or company. Unclaimed money can also be money that you are entitled to receive from a deceased relative, a class action settlement, a tax refund, or a government benefit.
According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), public sector banks have transferred unclaimed deposits of approximately Rs 35,000 crore to the RBI as of the end of February 2023. These deposits, which had been inactive for 10 years or more and were associated with 10.24 crore accounts, were transferred to the RBI’s Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund. Similarly, in Australia, there is over $1.1 billion in unclaimed money waiting to be claimed by its rightful owners.
If you think you might have some unclaimed money somewhere, you should not give up hope. There are ways to find out and claim your money back. In this article, we will explain how to check for unclaimed money in India and Australia and what steps you need to take to reclaim it.
Step 1: How to check for unclaimed money in India
In India, the RBI has recently announced that it will launch a common portal for checking unclaimed money lying across banks. This portal will allow customers to search for their unclaimed money across all banks in one go, instead of having to visit each bank’s website individually. The portal is expected to be operational by September 2023.
Until then, customers can check for their unclaimed money by visiting the websites of individual banks and entering their name, address, pin code, or phone number. For example, the State Bank of India (SBI) has a webpage where customers can search for their inoperative accounts (more than 9.5 years old) by entering their name and address. Other banks may have similar webpages or links on their websites.
If customers find their name on the list of unclaimed money holders, they need to contact the home branch of the bank and fill out a claim form. They also need to provide their deposit receipts and KYC documents. If they are legal heirs or nominees of the account holder, they need to provide a copy of the death certificate as well. The bank will then verify the authenticity of the claim and release the payment. The bank will also submit a claim to the RBI at the end of the month to receive a refund from the DEA fund.
Step 2: How to check for unclaimed money in Australia
In Australia, there are two main online resources for finding unclaimed money: ASIC’s MoneySmart website and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website. These websites allow customers to search for their unclaimed money from various sources, such as:
- Bank accounts
- Life insurance policies
- Shares and dividends
- Superannuation accounts
- Trust accounts
- Deceased estates
- Class action payments
- Tax refunds
- Government benefits
To search for their unclaimed money on these websites, customers need to enter their name, date of birth, and previous addresses. They can also enter other details, such as account numbers or policy numbers, if they have them. If they find any matches, they can lodge a claim online or by mail. They may need to provide proof of identity and entitlement documents, depending on the type and amount of money they are claiming.
Alternatively, customers can also contact the financial institution or company that holds their unclaimed money directly and ask them how to claim it back. They may need to fill out an application form and provide supporting documents as well.
FAQ: The Ultimate Guide to Your Questions
Q: How long does it take to get my unclaimed money back?
A: The time it takes to get your unclaimed money back depends on several factors, such as:
1. The source and amount of your unclaimed money
2. The verification process and requirements of the bank or agency that holds your unclaimed money
3. The mode of payment (online or offline) that you choose
Generally speaking, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few months to receive your unclaimed money back.
Q: Do I have to pay any fees or taxes on my unclaimed money?
A: No, you do not have to pay any fees or taxes on your unclaimed money. However, you may have to pay some interest or penalties if your unclaimed money is from a tax refund or a government benefit that you did not report or claim earlier.
Q: What if I live outside India or Australia? Can I still claim my unclaimed money?
A: Yes, you can still claim your unclaimed money even if you live outside India or Australia. You just need to follow the same steps as mentioned above and provide your current address and contact details. You may also need to provide some additional documents, such as a passport or a visa, to prove your identity and entitlement. You may also have to deal with some currency conversion and transfer fees, depending on the mode of payment you choose.