Changed Unclaimed Money Rules A Relief For Older Australians

Leading seniors advocate COTA Australia has today welcomed the Federal Government’s increasing of the time that bank accounts can be inactive from three years to seven years.

COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates said there are a number of older Australians who will be relieved that they no longer have to worry about their savings accounts being seized prematurely by government.

“Some older Australians put money away over a medium term for many different reasons and these savings accounts could easily sit for three years without activity,” said Mr Yates.

“For example, they may put away money for their grandchildren while they are growing up; or for a medical emergency. That money might sit in the account for years but it does not mean that the account is inactive.

“However under the three year rule these accounts would be deemed ‘inactive’ and the money transferred to ASIC, causing stress to the account holders.

“The decision by the Government to restore the time period before an account is inactive to seven years will give many older Australians peace of mind that they can put away money for the long term without worrying about losing their accounts.

“We welcome this announcement and hope that the Federal Government will continue to stand up for older Australians by ruling out any change to pension indexation.”

Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Jemma Williams 0409 510 879.

COTA Australia is the peak policy development, advocacy and representation organisation for older Australians, representing COTAs in every State and Territory and through them over 500,000 older Australians.