Department of Treasury and Finance

Frequently asked questions — unclaimed money

What is unclaimed money?

The Unclaimed Monies Act 1891 (the Act) defines unclaimed money to mean:

"...all principal and interest money, and all dividends, bonuses, profits, and sums of money whatsoever, which prior to the passing of this Act, or which hereafter, shall have been in possession of any company for a period of six years or upwards... Read more…

When does your money become unclaimed money?

Your money becomes unclaimed when:

  • the company has exhausted all avenues of finding the owner and the owner has been 'lost' for a period of six years
  • the person (not being a company) has exhausted all avenues of finding the owner and the owner has been 'lost' for a period of 12 months. Read more…

What type of unclaimed money is collected by the Department of Treasury and Finance?

Department of Treasury and Finance can hold unclaimed:

  • dividends (not company shares)
  • deceased estates 
  • liquidation disbursements
  • interest
  • unpresented/void/stale cheques 
  • wages/salaries 
  • trust accounts 
  • refunds Read more…

What about unclaimed superannuation?

Unclaimed superannuation previously held by the Department of Treasury and Finance in South Australia was transferred to the ATO in September 2014. Read more…

If a member of the public receives a letter from an unclaimed money recovery agent?

The Department of Treasury and Finance takes no responsibility for letters received from an unclaimed moneys agent.  We are unable to advise if a company is a legitimate company. Read more…

If an unclaimed money recovery agent would like to register their business with Treasury?

We do not register recovery agents. Our facilities are for individual searches only. Read more…

Is Department of Treasury and Finance a related department to South Australian Government Gazette?

No, we are independent of the South Australian Government Gazette. 

If you have an amount in the recent gazette, please read it carefully as there is a disclosure at the top of each advertisement.  Read more…

Other contacts

Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
Telephone: 1300 300 630  
www.moneysmart.gov.au

Australian Taxation Office
Superannuation Lost Members Register
Telephone: 13 10 20  
www.ato.gov.au

Enquiries

+61 8 7424 5261