$6.5m in lost super

Have you ever changed jobs or moved house, without remembering to properly update your super account? If you have, you’re not alone.

There are billions of dollars in lost or unclaimed super sitting in superannuation accounts or with the Australian Tax Office, that rightfully belong to Australian workers.

In the Tumut region, residents are missing out on nearly $6.5 million in lost or unclaimed super.

Lost super is money in accounts where the superannuation fund has lost contact with the account holder. When they are unable to contact the account holder in more than five years, this money is transferred to the ATO and is referred to as unclaimed super.

Super funds and the ATO are currently in possession of a whopping $18 billion in lost or unclaimed super.

$4,778,728 of that rightfully belongs to residents of Tumut and other towns with the ‘2720’ postcode.

Adelong residents are missing out on $649,654, and Batlow has $901,825 in lost or unclaimed super.

It’s easy to check if you have more super accounts than you maybe thought you did, and which funds those accounts are with.

It does, however, require a myGov account, so if you don’t already have one of those you’ll need to create one. After that, just go to www.ato.gov.au/checkyoursuper. You can then start the process of contacting those funds and transferring the money into the same account; ready to be accessed when it’s needed.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Debbie Rawlings said many Australians don’t know about this service.

“Over the past four financial years we’ve reunited 1.68 million accounts worth $8.12 billion with the account owner, and there’s plenty more to be found,” Ms Rawlings said.

“By using myGov to track down your super, the money will be transferred to your preferred fund, generally within three working days.

“More people are finding their lost and unclaimed super through our online services every year, but these figures show there are many people who still may not realise how quickly and easily they can check their super accounts.

“Once you have linked your myGov account to ATO online services, you will be able to view all your super account details, including any that have been lost or forgotten, and you can choose to claim or transfer your super online. Alternatively you can call the ATO Super Helpline on 13 10 20 to request direct claim or transfer paper forms, or speak to your super fund.”

People can lose contact with their super funds when they change jobs, move house, or haven’t updated their details with their super fund. They may also lose track of their super from accounts established earlier in their career.

While the number of people with multiple accounts has been falling, there are still almost 2.3 million Australians with three or more super accounts.

“You might choose to keep multiple accounts, but if you consolidate your multiple super accounts into the one you prefer, you’ll avoid paying multiple sets of fees and charges,” Ms Rawlings said.