There are over six million lost and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) super accounts with a total value of $16 billion1 – a share of this could be yours. Don’t miss out on super you’ve earned!
How does super become lost or unclaimed in the first place?
In the past, you may have lost track of your super when you changed jobs. Especially if your super contributions from your new job were paid into your new employer’s super fund and you didn’t transfer funds from your previous super account.
The good news is that this is less likely to be an issue these days. On 1 November 2021, new federal laws came in that make it harder to lose track of your super. The new stapling law means you’ll take your super account with you when you change jobs, rather than have a new account automatically opened for you. There is also an option where you can choose to join the super fund of your new employer and move your super savings to the new fund.
Super can also become lost or unclaimed if your previous super funds don’t have your latest address, email or phone number on file.
What’s the difference between lost and unclaimed super?
Lost super means you had money with a super fund and they haven’t been able to contact you or your account is inactive, so they’ve had to send your super to the ATO.
Unclaimed super generally means you’re allowed to withdraw a super benefit but you haven’t done that, and your fund hasn’t been able to contact you.
How can you claim lost super?
It’s easy to lose track of your super when you move or change jobs. However, it’s easy to find it and takes less than 10 minutes. Here’s how.
Check with the ATO within myGov. This will allows you to see details of all your super accounts, including any you’ve lost or forgotten about and find any ATO-held super – this is held on your behalf when you super fund, your employer or the government can’t find an account to deposit your super into.
If you’ve recently opened a new super account, it may take up to six months to appear on MyGov. You can also find lost super using a paper form. See searching for lost super on the ATO website.
Why finding your super matters
There are many benefits to combining all your lost super and money with other super funds into one account.
Simpler fees: having your super in one account means only one set of fees.
Easier to manage: one place for contributions, paperwork and investing your super.
Avoid extra insurance costs: only one set of premiums if you have insurance with multiple funds.
What to check before you combine your super accounts? Weigh up the benefits and features of each of your super funds and make sure you understand any benefits that you have will be lost before you roll over any monies.
If you wish to claim a tax deduction for any personal contributions you have made, you need to submit a valid Notice of Intent form to your super fund, and receive an acknowledgement from them, before you complete your tax return, start a superannuation pension or withdraw or rollover the money.
Don’t forget your insurance. One or more of your funds may include insurance. Any insurance you have will be lost if you close your account. So, before you roll over any monies, make sure you have the appropriate levels of insurance cover. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, consider whether you’ll be eligible for the same level of cover if you lose your existing insurance. You should also compare the cost of equivalent insurance cover in any new and current funds.
How to prevent any lost super in the future
When you start a new job, tell your employer your super details so you know where your super is going. If you don’t let them know, they have to ask the ATO where your stapled super fund is.
Make sure you update your contact details with your super fund whenever you move house or change your phone number/email.
And if you combine all your super into one account, you only have one account to keep track of.
1 As at 30 June 2022, Multiple super accounts data.
Important information and disclaimer
This article has been prepared by NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited ABN 80 008 515 633 AFSL 236465 (NULIS) as trustee of the MLC Super Fund ABN 70 732 426 024. The information in this article is current as at June 2021 but may cease to be accurate in the future.
NULIS is part of the group of companies comprising IOOF Holdings Ltd ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate (IOOF Group).
Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of preparation. In some cases information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.
To the extent that the information in this article is or contains advice, it does not take into account any particular person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, consider the product’s appropriateness to you having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs, and consider obtaining independent advice. The Product Disclosure Statement for the MLC Super Fund is available at https://www.mlc.com.au/personal/superannuation/products or can be obtained by calling 132 652 (Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm AEST/AEDT). Returns are not guaranteed and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The value of an investment may rise or fall with the changes in the market. You should not rely on this article to determine your personal tax obligations. Please consult a registered tax agent for this purpose. Subject to terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, neither NULIS nor any member of the IOOF Group accepts responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the information in this communication.