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"Unclaimed moneys" laws are not consistent or uniform across all jurisdictions. Furthermore, the acts of individual states may be preempted by numerous others, including the Disposal of the Uncollected Goods Act, Warehousemen's Lien Act, Trustee's Act, the Banking Act and Commonwealth Corporations Law.

Bank Accounts: There is a 7-year dormancy period for all unclaimed and abandoned accounts, pursuant to the Banking Act of 1954. Banks must, by March 31st each year, deliver to the Treasurer a register of all unclaimed accounts worth $500 or more, which is then published in the Government Gazette.

Owners must make claims to the bank where the account was opened. The Treasury refunds the money to the bank, which passes it on to the claimant. For additional information and to search the database go to:

Securities: Under Commonwealth Corporations law, abandoned stock is reported to the Australian Securities Commission after a six year dormancy period, while unclaimed dividends may be reported to individual Australian states.

Companies are required to maintain a register available for public viewing upon payment of a nominal fee. By 31 January each year they must enter particulars of accounts dormant for six years. By 31 March, particulars on all accounts over $10 are to be published in the Canberra Times and the Gazette; and reported to the Registrar-General. One year after publication, all unclaimed moneys are remitted to the Registrar-General.

In the event of a liquidation (on or after 1 January 1991) a 6-month dormancy is established, after which all outstanding property vests in the Australian Securities Commission. Unclaimed moneys in the hand of liquidators for liquidations which took place before 1 January 1991 come under the jurisdiction of State/Territory authorities. Contact: Australian Securities and Investments Commission, National Office, Sydney, Level 18, 135 King St, Sydney, NSW 2001, GPO Box 4866; phone: 9911 2000; or visit:

Pensions: Unclaimed money held by Retirement Savings Accounts providers are received and administered by the Registrar-General. As of 30 June 1997, Trustees must submit reports every half year by 31 October and 30 April following each respective six month period.

Reports include (a) name, gender, and date of birth of member/account holder; (b) last known address; (c) amount of money held; (d) name of last known employer; and (e) date of commencement of the policy/account. Contact the appropriate Registrar-General:

Western Australia:
South Australia:
New South Wales:
Northern Territory:

Salaries and Wages: Claims for unclaimed salaries and wages under both federal and state awards should be directed to the Commonwealth Department of Industrial Relations, in the relevant state/territory, within thirty days after the termination of employment. Visit: 

Legal Practitioners Trust Accounts - The Legal Practitioners Act of 1970 requires unclaimed moneys held in legal practitioners trust account to be paid to the Registrar-General.

Real Estate Agents Trust Accounts - The Agents Act of 1968 requires unclaimed moneys held in Agents trust accounts be paid to the Registrar-General.

Other legislation dealing with abandoned funds varies by state/territory. While not legally bound to do so, unclaimed moneys are generally held by the state/territory in which the company is incorporated. For policies and practices in individual states/territories, follow the links below:

Australian Capital Territory | New South Wales | Northern Territories | Queensland | South Australia | Tasmania | Victoria | Western Australia

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