Written and accurate as at: Jan 13, 2014
The Government estimates there is around $17 billion dollars of lost super held in over 3 million lost super accounts in Australia. That’s a lot of money sitting there waiting to be claimed. Perhaps some of it is yours?
Each year your superannuation fund sends an annual statement reporting your balance and performance of your super fund. If you’ve moved, you may have forgotten to update your details with your superannuation provider and these statements may be going to your old address. Similarly, if you've changed jobs or have had a number of causal or part-time positions, then it’s likely you have more than one superannuation account.
In fact, the average working Australian has three or more superannuation funds.
If you haven’t kept track of your superannuation savings over your working life, don’t worry, there are a number of tools and resources available that you can use to locate lost super. You could:
- Lakeside Financial Planners can help you search for any lost super.
- Register for the Australian Taxation Office’s online services and use SuperSeeker to check your current super accounts into which money has been paid in the last two financial years. The website also allows a search for lost super and ATO-held super and a service to assist you to transfer your super into the super account you want. You will need to disclose personal details such as your name, date of birth and tax file number.
- Visit the AUSFund website. AUSfund (Australia’s Unclaimed Super Fund) is a temporary super fund for small, lost and inactive accounts transferred from other regulated superannuation funds. AUSfund manage approximately $500 million on behalf of 1.2 million account holders. You can search online using your full name and date of birth.
- Check with your current super fund to see whether they offer a lost-super service. Many super funds will assist you to find and transfer other super funds to your current super fund.
- Check with your previous employers for the names of the super funds that received contributions on your behalf.
Even if your lost super amounts to just a small value, remember that every dollar of your superannuation is your hard earned money and it all adds up to help you prepare for your retirement. If you do find super that's yours, you could benefit from consolidating it into your current superannuation account. By putting all your super money in one fund you could:
- Pay just one set of fees and charges, which could save you money.
- Make managing your super easier as you will receive only one set of paperwork to keep track of and manage.
- Reduce the likelihood of losing your super again.