What is lost superannuation?
If you’ve had more than one job, it is possible you have more than one superannuation account. If your account has been sitting idle with and the fund has lost contact with you, it is considered ‘lost super’, and you would not be alone. In fact, nearly 2.3 million Australians have three or more super funds.
If a super fund holding a small account experiences inactivity for over 12 months, they legally must transfer the balance directly to the ATO and it is considered ‘unclaimed super’. Unclaimed super is still considered as owned by the original contributor, however, and it’s easier than you think to check and claim it.
How do I find lost or unclaimed superannuation?
You can generally find your lost or unclaimed superannuation and consolidate it in five steps:
- Set up a myGov account
- Provide your details including name, date of birth and tax file number
- Link your myGov account to ATO online services to view all your super details
- Call the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on 13 28 65 if you have further questions
- Consolidate your super into one main super account.
Why should I consolidate my super?
Forgotten super is money – your money – that is being hit by administration fees and possibly life insurance premiums. Multiple unclaimed super accounts mean multiple annual fees being subtracted from the principal. The waste is magnified when you consider that monthly insurance premiums could also continue to be deducted until idle accounts run out of money or are closed.
For example, a Builder, who is 35 years of age with a super balance of $80,000 can expect to pay from $360 up to $2,285 per year in fees for one super fund. You can see the damage those fees could do if replicated across multiple accounts.
How does super go astray?
The average Australian will have around 17 jobs in a lifetime. Considering it is not uncommon for people to open a new super account when they start a new job, that’s potentially five different superannuation accounts.
People might also have super accounts which they have lost track of, for example, they may not have updated their contact details with their funds when they moved house, changed their name or lost correspondence with their super fund – there is still $5.8 billion worth of superannuation in this category.
Choosing a superannuation account
Want to consolidate all your lost super but are unsure which super fund to choose? Find out what to look for when comparing superannuation accounts in our article about how to choose the right fund for you. You can also check out our comparison table below which features a snapshot of the current market offerings for superannuation with links direct to the providers website. Please note that this table is sorted by our star rating (highest to lowest) and is based on the policy holder falling between 30 and 39 years of age, with a super balance of up to $50,000. You can try this interactive tool for yourself here.
Learn more about Super
- Are there any super funds that focus on ethical investments?
- Can I make extra payments?
- Do I get taxed on super?