If you have worked on multiple jobs, there is a possibility that you have numerous super accounts, especially if you’ve been contented to go along with the default fund of your employer.
And if you haven’t checked on your super for a while, chances are you have lost or unclaimed super sitting somewhere, waiting for you to find them.
As stated by the latest figures from the ATO (Australian Taxation Office), almost $18 billion worth of lost Superannuation is waiting to be claimed. This was comprised just over 6.3 million lost as well as ATO-held accounts. A bit of this money could be yours.
You could be sitting on a retirement nest egg and not even know it. You wouldn’t want to leave your lost super money unclaimed, would you? In fact, there’s no better time to find your lost super than now.
Australians have recently tracked down $860 million of lost super within just three months. You should join in the hunt!
Doing so you would benefit you. For one, it’s additional money for your nest egg. Second, you can consolidate your super accounts into one fund once you find them and save more on fees and tax.
What is lost super?
Your super fund will generally consider you a lost member if:
- they haven’t been able to contact you
- they haven’t received any money into your account for the last five years, or;
- your account has been transferred from another fund as a lost member account, and no new addresses have been found
If you think you’re a lost member, you need to find your lost super as soon as possible before they disappear.
Who can have lost or unclaimed super?
Super funds are obligated to update us with any unclaimed super money and pay them for us at least twice a year.
These are unclaimed super money that super members may have:
The following are the unclaimed monies that we may hold on your behalf:
- Unclaimed super for
- 65-year-old plus members
- deceased members
- non-member spouses
- Unclaimed super for temporary residents
- Accounts of lost members
- accounts that belong to lost members
- accounts of small missing members – accounts with balances lower than $6,000
- lost accounts that are inactive for five days but have records of the account’s owner (insoluble accounts)
- Inactive, low-balance accounts
So how do we find lost super? – easy steps
Finding your lost super can be done in easy steps.
To find your lost super, you can head over to the ATO’s website and do a super search. The government also has a service called SuperSeeker. You simply type in your tax file number, name, and date of birth, and it searches for you. You should check the site regularly as the SuperSeeker database is always updated with more lost funds.
If you don’t want to do the search by yourself, there are services online who will do it for you. Again, you will need to register first before the tracking begins. It does take a little bit of time putting things like your tax number and bank details, but once you’re in, it usually takes a couple of clicks for these services to track down your super.
You then have the option to consolidate your super. If you find some lost super, you could consider consolidating it to your super account to reduce multiple fees, and so that you’d have a clear overall picture of how your money is invested.
Consolidating your super entails that you combine all of your super accounts into a single fund. Doing so would save you money on multiple fees and also make your super fund easier to track and manage.
If you are going to consolidate, though, look into all of the super funds and work out which one is the right choice for you. You need to consider what kind of fees are found in each fund, and insurance.
The impact of any life insurance cover should be considered because if some of your funds do have insurance, there could be a problem if you roll over – you could lose that insurance. Remember also to consider exit fees since some of these exit fees can be quite expensive.
By making sure that your fund has your tax fund number, you can also pay less tax on your super.
Again, to consolidate your super, you need to choose a super fund where you will transfer all of your super money into.
40-year-old Danny Casio didn’t just have one or two super accounts – he had seven accounts. He decided to consolidate them when he realized what he’d be out for.
“At the point of retirement, I would have paid about $40,000 just in fees, and ultimately that’s affecting my retirement savings,” he said.
His initial experience a few years ago to combine her accounts wasn’t easy because she needed specific super fund details.
“Needless to say, I didn’t know any of those, and basically I just put it into a two-hand basket and put it into one side,” he asserted.
But since then the process was simplified by moving online. Australians with lost or unclaimed super like Danny can now find and claim their lost super in a much easier way.
Departing Australia superannuation payment
If you’ve visited Australia and have worked in the place, you can opt for having such super paid on your behalf as Departing Australia Superannuation Payment or DASP once you leave.
There are certain requirements that you must satisfy while claiming your DASP.
In submitting your application, you need to ensure that your employer is paying all the required Superannuation.
If six months have passed since you’ve left Australia, and your VISA is no longer valid, and you haven’t applied for DASP, the super fund will submit your money to the Australian Taxation Office as “unclaimed superannuation money.”
Certified documents may be required in making a DASP claim. It is easier to have such documents certified in Australia, and so it’s best to do it in the country before you leave.
For most people, Superannuation would be the absolute bedrock of their retirement and would be the difference between a retirement of choice, and retirement of existence. Thus, even something as simple as finding and consolidating your lost super could make a huge difference in your financial future during retirement.
As you have seen in this article, you can sort out your super in a few simple steps. Whether you have lost super, or you want to put all of your super into one place, you can find all your lost super accounts and bring them together quickly and simply.
I suggest you begin your search now.
Louis Lim is a writer and blogger who specializes in topics related to superannuation. He’s written hundreds of articles related to the subject at Australian Super Finder.