If you’re in this position, we’ve looked at some of the steps you may want to consider taking in order to track down your super.
What is lost or unclaimed superannuation?
According to the ATO, your super fund will report you as a lost member in one of the following situations:
- they have not been able to contact you
- they have not received any contributions or rollover amounts for you in the last five years
- your account was transferred from another fund as a lost member account and no new address has been found
Accounts that are considered ‘lost’ are still held by the super fund.
Super can also be categorised as ‘unclaimed’. These types of account are reported to and transferred to the ATO. According to them, the following types of people can have unclaimed super:
- a member of a super fund who is 65 years old or older
- a non-member spouse
- a deceased member
- former temporary residents with unclaimed super money
- members with ‘lost’ accounts with balances of less than $6,000
- members with ‘lost’ accounts which have been inactive for a period of five years and have insufficient records to ever identify the owner of the account
Unclaimed and lost super is still considered to be owned by the original contributor, and it may be easier than you think to claim it.
How do I find lost or unclaimed superannuation?
Generally speaking, there are five steps that may help you find and consolidate your lost or unclaimed superannuation: :
- 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 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 potentially being eaten into by administration fees and life insurance premiums. Multiple unclaimed super accounts could mean multiple annual fees and insurance premiums being subtracted. In some cases, fees could be deducted until idle accounts run out of money and are closed.
How does super go astray?
Based on the national average tenure of three years and four months per job , a school leaver today could have as many as 17 jobs in their lifetime. Considering it’s not uncommon for people to open a new super account when they start a new job, that’s potentially a lot of different superannuation accounts in your name.
People might also have lost track of their super accounts. For example, they may not have updated their contact details with their funds when they moved house or changed their name.
Choosing a superannuation account
Want to consolidate all your lost super but are unsure which fund to choose? You can get an idea of some of the factors to consider when comparing superannuation accounts in our article ‘how to choose a super fund’.
It’s worth noting that consolidating super funds is beneficial for many people but isn’t right for everyone (we explain some of the reasons why here), so the pros and cons should be carefully weighed up. When looking for a suitable fund, there are many factors to consider, such as the fees charged, whether the insurance offering is suitable for you and the education and advice available. Past performance is an important consideration because it gives an indication of what a fund has been capable of delivering in the past through varied market conditions. However, investments can go up and down, so past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.
The comparison table below shows a snapshot of some of the superannuation funds rated by Canstar based on someone aged 40-49 with a balance of $50,000. This table has been sorted by three-year performance (highest to lowest). Please note that the performance information shown in the table is for the investment option used by Canstar in rating of the superannuation product. Check upfront with your super provider and read the PDS to confirm whether any particular fund meets your needs before deciding to commit to it.
Also note that all information about performance returns is historical. Past performance should not be relied upon as an indicator of future performance; unit prices and the value of your investment may fall as well as rise.
To view the past performance of all super funds, rated by Canstar, use our comparison tool: