An article recently posted on taxpayer.com.au talked about more that $14 billion in lost superannuation sitting there waiting to be claimed. Here’s the article we wanted to share with you:
Are you yet to consolidate your multiple superannuation accounts, or is there superannuation that you may not have known you had? The Tax Office has revealed that more than $14 billion in lost superannuation is waiting to be claimed.
New South Wales had the highest number of lost super accounts at 529,361, followed by Victoria (359,891), Queensland (335,737) and Western Australia (247,160). When it came to the value of the accounts, New South Wales still had the largest amount lost at $4,721 million.
Lost uncontactable and lost inactive accounts are still held by super funds, whereas unclaimed super money and superannuation holding accounts have been transferred to the Tax Office.
Assistant Commissioner John Shepherd said what was particularly concerning was the billions of dollars sitting in superannuation accounts where funds had lost contact with the owner.
“There’s over $6 billion of super sitting in accounts where funds have not been kept up-to-date with changes to personal details,” Shepherd said.
“It’s easy for this to happen because when people get married or move house, the last thing on their mind is updating their name and address details with a super fund.”
Shepherd said it is also important people make sure their superannuation fund has their tax file number, as this will allows the Tax Office to display people’s superannuation accounts online and help reunite them with their retirement savings.
On top of the $6 billion, an additional $8 billion is sitting in accounts that have not received a contribution in five years or more.
“More than 40% of super account holders have more than one account. Many of these additional accounts have not received a contribution for quite some time, and those with small balances can be eroded by super fund fees and charges,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd said it is not uncommon for many people to fail to take advantage of the fact that they can choose a fund when they start a new job.
“Instead, they end up opening a new account with a different fund each time they change jobs.”
The Tax Office has reiterated that now is an ideal time for people to check if they have any lost or ATO-held super accounts. All they have to do is create a myGov account and link it to the Tax Office. Since July 1, 2014, the Tax Office has already helped Australians consolidate 49,000 super accounts online.
“After you’ve electronically lodged your tax return, it only takes a minute to use SuperSeeker and check out whether you have any accounts that can be rolled into your main one,” Shepherd said.
“Using SuperSeeker’s simple online form you can also roll super accounts that you no longer need into one and in most cases it only takes three days for a fund-to-fund transfer. It’s an easy way to reduce unnecessary fees and make the most of your retirement savings,” he added.