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Are you keeping track of your super?

14 February 2017

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Jayson Forrest

Jayson Forrest is the editor of Financial Planning Magazine.

Did you know there is currently $11.7 billion sitting in lost superannuation accounts? And some of that money could be yours.

If you have you ever changed jobs, your name, address, or done casual or part-time work, the chances are that like many other thousands of Australians, you could have some lost or unclaimed super owed to you that you didn’t even know about.

Today, there is almost $12 billion in unclaimed or lost super held by super funds or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

According to ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran, super is considered lost when a fund is unable to contact the individual and hasn’t received a contribution to an account for five years.

It could simply be a better of you changing your contact details but forgotten to notify your super fund of the changes. There are almost 592,000 super accounts like this which remain idle and largely forgotten by the account holders.

All lost member accounts with balances of $4,000 or less, are transferred to the ATO and become what is called ‘unclaimed super’.

However, the great news is that just like lost super, unclaimed super is still yours, and you’re able to claim it and transfer the amount to your preferred super fund at any time.

The first thing you need to do is check if you have any lost or unclaimed super. This is very easy.

To check, go to the ATO’s SuperSeeker website – superseeker.super.ato.gov.au or call 13 28 65 – which will allow you to search for any lost and unclaimed super. You can also conduct a search via the Government’s myGov website – my.gov.au.

You will need your Tax File Number, full name and date of birth to conduct the search, so make sure you have these handy. And if you want to transfer your newly found super to your current or preferred super fund, you will also need to provide your super fund membership number.

For more information, go to ato.gov.au/checkyoursuper

Top 10 postcodes with the most lost super

$49.3 million (2,605 super accounts) Mackay, QLD
$49.1 million (2,903 super accounts) Cairns, QLD
$45.3 million (2,384 super accounts) Toowoomba, QLD
$37.7 million (2,120 super accounts) Liverpool, NSW
$35.6 million (1,742 super accounts) Werribee, VIC
$35.1 million (1,867 super accounts) Sydney CBD, NSW
$34.7 million (1,743 super accounts) Surry Hills, NSW
$33.7 million (1,633 super accounts) Gladstone, QLD
$33.0 million (1,689 super accounts) Bondi, NSW
$31.3 million (1,793 super accounts) Campbelltown, NSW

Source: ATO August 2016

Lost super by state

ACT $222.6 million (9,963 super accounts)
NSW $3.5 billion (174,161 super accounts)
NT $157.8 million (9,090 super accounts)
QLD $2.3 billion (127,426 super accounts)
SA $624.3 million (35,093 super accounts)
TAS $179.0 million (10,469 super accounts)
VIC $2.5 billion (115,826 super accounts)
WA $1.3 billion (71,021 super accounts)
Invalid postcodes $857.2 million (38,573 super accounts)

Source: ATO August 2016

4 ways to find your lost super

  1. Speak to your financial planner.
  2. Contact your super fund and ask for help to find your lost accounts.
  3. Login to MyGov to view lost super. Click on the ATO icon. Go to the Super tab, click on super accounts and see if you need to consolidate.
  4. Visit Superseeker online and enter your tax file number, name and date of birth.