Interest paid on unclaimed money

Adding interest to lost money

From 1 July 2013 you are paid interest on unclaimed money held by ASIC. ASIC holds unclaimed bank accounts, shares and life insurance. Here we explain how these interest payments work. 

The interest period for unclaimed money

Interest on unclaimed money is payable from 1 July 2013. There is no interest payable for the period before this. No tax is paid on the interest you earn.

The date you are paid interest from will be shown in your unclaimed money search record. The interest will be calculated from that date to 14 days after your claim is approved to allow for your claim to be processed and your cheque to be issued.

When interest is not payable on unclaimed money

Interest will not be paid on the following types of unclaimed money:

  • Company gazette - You are not paid interest on this money because the company has sent your details to ASIC but not the money itself. Therefore you will need to claim money from the company and not from ASIC. 
  • Deregistered company trust money - This type of money is technically not unclaimed money. It can be found through our unclaimed money search, however, interest will not be paid.

These types of lost money will be listed as 'Company gazette' and 'Deregistered company trust money' in your unclaimed money search.

How unclaimed money interest is calculated

The interest rate is based on the percentage change in CPI (Consumer Price Index).

The interest rate for 2013/2014 was 2.5% or 0.0250.

The interest rate for 2014/2015 is 2.93% or 0.02930.

The interest rate for 2015/2016 is 1.33% or 0.0133.

The interest rate for 2016/2017 is 1.31% or 0.0131.

The interest rate for 2017/2018 is 2.13% or 0.0213.

The interest rate for 2018/2019 is 1.9%  or 0.0190.

The interest rate for 2019/2020 is 1.33% or 0.0133.

The calculation method is:

amount x days interest payable x interest rate

days in the financial year

  • Amount = amount of unclaimed money (in future years any previous financial year interest will be added to the original amount)
  • Days interest payable = The number of days in the financial year for which interest is payable including the extra 14 days that allows for processing your claim

The interest for each financial year is rounded to the nearest cent (down 0 - 4 & up 5 - 9).

Senior man on the phone about a letter he received on unclaimed money

Case study - Steve gets paid interest on his unclaimed money

Steve made a claim for $1,000 from an old bank account. The bank account money was received by ASIC on 31 March 2010.

His claim was approved by ASIC on 24 August 2014 but the interest was calculated from 1 July 2013.

Here is Steve's interest calculation for 2013/14 financial year:

1000 x 365 days x 0.0250


Interest Steve is paid for 2013/2014 year =  $25

Steve's interest calculation for 2014/15 financial year is:

1025 x 69 days (1 July 2014 - 24 August 2014 + 14 days) x 0.0293


Interest Steve is paid for 2014/2015 year  =  $5.68

Total interest Steve is paid  =  $30.68

Total amount Steve receives  =  $1,030.68

Unclaimed money thumbnail

Australia's unclaimed money

See our unclaimed money infographic to find out:

  • how much is waiting to be claimed in each state, and
  • how people lose track of their money.

Related links

Last updated: 05 Jul 2019