Billions of dollars are sitting in lost and unclaimed super accounts and some of that money could be yours.*
How super can become ‘lost’
In our busy lives it can be easy to lose track of super funds over the course of a working career. If you have ever changed jobs, held multiple part-time or casual jobs, or relocated without letting your super fund know your new address, chances are you could have some ‘lost’ super.
Understanding lost super
Your super account will generally be considered ‘lost’ if:*
No contributions or rollovers have been added to your super account in the last 12 months, the super fund has made one or more attempts to contact you and your super fund has reasonable grounds to believe you can no longer be contacted at the address you provided; and
You have not contacted your super fund within the last 12 months; and
You have not accessed details about your super fund through any electronic facility provided by the fund (e.g. an app) within the last 12 months.
For employer-default super plans, no contributions or rollovers have been added to your super account in the last five years.
Under some circumstances the balance in your ‘lost’ super could be transferred from your super fund to the ATO, for example, where:
Your account balance is less than $6,000; or
Your super fund is unable to identify you as the account holderbased on the information they have available to them.
The ATO could also be holding other super amounts for you such as super guarantee amounts paid to them by a previous employer, super contributions or low income super contributions paid to you by the Government.
Lost and unclaimed accounts
The difference between lost and unclaimed accounts:
Lost super accounts are still held by super funds, whereas unclaimed super money is transferred to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
ATO figures show that as at 30 June 2019 there are approximately 2.8 million lost and unclaimed ATO held accounts with a total value of $20.8 billion. If some of that belongs to you, you could be missing out on something more than extra retirement savings. You might also have life insurance you didn’t know about.
Some lost superannuation funds have a life insurance policy that’s still active, often with the premiums still being deducted from the fund balance. This means your family could be financially protected by one of these policies, if tragedy should occur.
It’s another good reason to find lost super.