Claiming your lost super

With $11.7 billion sitting in lost super accounts, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) is encouraging Australians to reconnect with their super using its online services.

According to the latest ATO data the postcode with the highest amount of lost super, totalling $49 million, is the 4740 postcode in Queensland, which covers Mackay and the surrounding suburbs.

ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said the figure was just a small slice of the super lost across the country.

“One of our key goals is to reunite individuals with their super and in the past financial year $2.5 billion has been consolidated into active super accounts,” he said.

“A lot of people who worked casually while they were studying or worked multiple part-time jobs find super they had completely forgotten about.

“While some people purposefully maintain a number of accounts, a lot of Australians are unaware their hard earned super is unnecessarily being eroded away by fees.”

Super is considered ‘lost’ when a fund is unable to contact the individual and hasn’t received a contribution to an account for five years. People often lose contact with their super funds when they change jobs, move house, or forget to update their details.

“When it comes to big life events, updating your details with your super fund is one of the last things on your mind. One thing you can do is make sure your super fund has your tax file number. It helps us reunite you with your super down the track,” said O’Halloran.

“You might choose to keep multiple accounts, but to save on fees and charges consider consolidating your multiple super accounts online into the one you prefer.”

“All small lost member accounts with balances of $4,000 or less are transferred to the ATO and become what is called ‘unclaimed super’. Just like lost super, unclaimed and other ATO-held super can be claimed at any time.”

“Lost super isn’t hard to find. Over the past couple of years, we have made a lot of changes to our online services that make finding and consolidating your super simpler than ever.

“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 has been lost or forgotten about.”

Mackay, Cairns, Toowoomba, Liverpool, Werribee and Sydney are the top 5 suburbs with lost super.

Details on how to view all your super accounts including unclaimed super are here ato.gov.au/checkyoursuper

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