Could some of the billions of dollars of lost super be yours? If it is, then you need to act. If you don’t track down your lost super, it could end up in the bank account of the federal government instead of making money for your retirement.
Why is it important to find your lost super?
When you change jobs or move house your super fund can lose contact with you. If you’ve forgotten about some of your old super accounts then you’re probably paying fees on each account and could also be paying for insurance cover that is no longer needed.
These fees and charges will be reducing your super balance and potentially cost you thousands of dollars over your working life. Not to mention the compound interest benefits you could be missing out on.
What happens to your lost super?
If the government, your super fund or your employer can’t find an account to transfer your super to, the ATO holds it on your behalf. Your ‘lost’ super account could be transferred to the ATO if :
- the lost super account has a balance of less than $2,000, or
- the super fund has not received any contributions from you or your employer/s within the past 12 months and the fund, given the information reasonably available, is satisfied that it will never be possible to pay an amount to you.
Super funds must also pay super accounts to the ATO as unclaimed superannuation money when:
- a member is aged 65 or older and the super fund has not received an amount for the member within the past two years, and the super fund has not been able to contact the member after the end of a period of five years, after making reasonable efforts to do so.
- a non-member spouse, is entitled to be paid an amount from the super account as a result of a payment split and the super fund is unable to locate the spouse entitled to receive the benefit after making reasonable efforts and after a reasonable period has passed.
- a member dies, and there is a benefit immediately payable for the member, and the super fund has not received an amount on behalf of the member for more than 2 years, and the super fund is unable to locate the person entitled to the deceased member’s benefit.
- a former temporary resident is the owner of the super account.
How do you find your lost super?
If you think you may have lost track of your super then you have access to services to help you find your lost accounts.
This service searches the Lost Members Register and other ATO records, such as ATO-held super accounts and unclaimed super money, for your lost super accounts. You can also use the phone service (13 28 65).
You can use the ATO’s myGov service to see details of all your super accounts, including any you have lost track of or forgotten about. You will need to create a myGov account and then link your account to the ATO service.
- Previous employers
Ask your previous employers for the names of the super funds that received contributions on your behalf.
The longer the ATO has your super, the longer you will miss out on potential investment returns.
Why is it important to get advice about your superannuation?
Congratulations if you have been reunited with your lost super! This money can go towards helping you achieve your retirement goals.
To really make the most of your savings, it may be a good idea to get it together into one account so you don’t have extra sets of fees and charges eating away at your super.
However, before you transfer any funds we recommend you contact us and get advice about what is the best course of action for your situation.
Important things to consider:
- Will you pay any Exit or Withdrawal fees from your existing super fund?
- If you hold insurance in your existing fund and want to keep it, can it be transferred? Insurance cover is not automatically transferred when you consolidate. It will generally be cancelled, so make sure the insurance in your new fund meets your needs. Check the features to ensure that you are not losing anything that is important to you in your existing funds.
Finding lost super is better than finding a long lost $50 note behind the couch, because the longer your super is invested, the more it can benefit from compound interest. Meaning potentially more money for your retirement.
To discuss your superannuation needs please contact one of our qualified Financial Advisers on 07 3841 1200 or email us.