WHAT IS LOST SUPER?
When a super fund can’t locate or contact you, or hasn’t received contributions or rollover amounts in the last 12 months, they may need to give your details to the ATO. The super money you’ve accumulated may become ‘lost’ and the ATO will add your details to a register of ‘lost members’. Superfunds will hold onto your money until it needs to be handed over to the ATO.
‘Unclaimed’ super is lost super that needs to be handed over to the ATO. After a certain time period, or once your balance falls below a certain amount, super funds must transfer unclaimed super to the ATO. This amount is currently $2,000 – soon to jump to $4,000 in December 2015. There’s currently around $13billion worth of lost super in Australia, which is equivalent to around $9,600 per working Australian.
NOT SURE IF YOU’VE LOST ANY SUPER?
There are several reasons people ‘lose’ their super, including a change of job, new name or house move, and, as a result, many may not even be aware that they’ve lost it.
People aren't able to access their super money until they are 65, so it tends to fall off their radar in their twenties, thirties, forties and even fifties, especially given that life is busy enough in the here and now. However, not taking control of your lost super now means you could have less money at retirement or even lose it for good.
In addition, having multiple super accounts means you’re probably paying fees on each one, plus you might also be paying insurance fees from your super for cover you no longer need. All of this is eating away at your overall super balance.
Combined, these factors really will make a difference to the lifestyle you live in retirement.
BENEFITS OF HAVING ONE SUPER ACCOUNT
- Save costs by paying one set of fees
- Reduce your paperwork
- Reduce the risk of losing track of your super and losing it for good
- Potentially have more money in retirement
HOW TO FIND LOST SUPER?
If you're an existing Suncorp Super customer, complete the simple form online and they’ll let you know if they find any lost super. Some funds will be automatically combined into your Suncorp Super account and you can also go online to combine any of your other funds found. It’s that easy!
Suncorp offers two types of Super accounts - Suncorp Everyday Super™ and Suncorp WealthSmart® Super. Consumers looking for a new account to switch and consolidate all their existing accounts into can find out more information here http://www.suncorp.com.au/super/what-we-offer. Alternatively, consumers looking to keep their existing account can contact their provider or ATO directly to find out how they can find any lost super.
Lost Super FAQs
Q. What is lost super?
A. It’s simply money in super accounts that people have forgotten about, or lost track of.
Q What happens to this lost super?
A. If your super fund hasn't been able to contact you or hasn’t received contributions or rollover amounts for you in the last 12 months, they may need to give your details to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), which will add your details to a register of 'lost members'. After a certain time period or once your balance falls below a certain amount, super funds must transfer this ‘unclaimed’ super to the ATO. (The ATO then refers to it as ‘ATO-held super’.)
Q. What is the super balance an account needs to fall to for it to be transferred to the ATO?
A. Currently it’s $2,000 and it is planned to increase to $4,000 in Dec 2015 and $6,000 on 31 Dec 2016.
Q. Might I have any lost super?
A. If you’ve ever changed jobs, moved house or changed your name, you might have super you’ve left behind.
Q. How much lost super is there?
A. Australia-wide there is approximately $13 billion in lost super
Q. What is the average lost super account balance?
A. There’s approximately $9,700 per account – so it’s well worth finding out if you’ve got any lost super.
Q. How do I find out if I have any lost super?
A. There are a number of ways.
1. Ask your super fund. They may be able to find it on your behalf. The ATO can help you find lost super. Find out more here
2. If you have a financial adviser, they may be able to help you locate any lost super