The ATO has recently reported there is now $16 billion in lost and unclaimed super across Australia, and is urging Australians to check their MyGov account to see if some of the money is theirs.
Super becomes “lost super” when it’s still held by the fund but the member is uncontactable or the account is inactive. All lost member accounts with balances of $6,000 or less are transferred to the ATO, which means the ATO is holding large sums of money waiting for people to claim it.
Super providers are also required to report and pay unclaimed super to be held by the ATO once the money meets certain criteria.
Deputy Commissioner Emma Rosenzweig said finding your lost or unclaimed super is easy and can be done in a matter of minutes.
“People often lose contact with their super funds when they change jobs, move house, or simply forget to update their details. This doesn’t mean your super is lost forever – far from it. By accessing ATO online services through myGov, you can easily find your lost or unclaimed super.”
While the ATO says it’s doing all it can to get this money back where it belongs, this relies on people keeping their contact information up to date. The best thing you can do to ensure you’re getting what you’re entitled to is check that your super fund and MyGov account have your current contact information and correct bank account details.
Almost one in four Australians also hold two or more super accounts, which can contribute to forgetting about or losing super. If you’ve unknowingly got multiple accounts, you could be losing hundreds of dollars a year to fees and duplicated insurance costs. If you’re unsure whether to consolidate your accounts, check with your super funds, which can advise if there are any exit fees and whether you’ll lose any valuable insurance.
Tip: For information on how to manage super and view super accounts, including lost and unclaimed super, visit www.ato.gov.au/checkyoursuper.