If you have ever worked for a company in the past thirty years, you are more than likely to have some money in a superannuation fund. Now might be a good time to check if you have any super that has gone missing, before the money gets transferred to the ATO.
With an estimated 3.4 million “lost” super accounts worth $16.8 billion, there’s a big chance you have some lost super. Additionally, there are more than 2.8 million unclaimed super accounts totally $887 million according to SunSuper. (The difference between the two is that unclaimed super refers to money that members are eligible to withdraw but can’t be contacted, while lost super belongs to people who have changed their name, address or job and can’t be found).
Superannuation fund providers have until the end of May to transfer untouched super accounts with balances of up to $2,000 to the ATO. Previously the ATO could only receive super accounts with balances of less than $200.
Members will lose their automatic life and injury insurance, and will only earn interest at the rate of CPI, which is currently running at around 2.5%, so finding your super before it gets transferred should be a top priority.
Some members with as many as 5 accounts have put off chasing their super because they weren’t sure how to do it, and assumed that the process was time consuming. However, many super funds will chase your super for you, all you need to do is contact them, while the Australian Tax Office provides a free service too. With lost super accounts having an average balance of over $4,900, it could be the best five minutes you spend.
Once it gets transferred to the ATO, getting the money back may be much harder.
The Foolish bottom line
There are several websites that can help you search for super including the ATO’s SuperSeeker website, which is free. Beware of some sites that will charge you fees to search for your super, they are most likely using the ATO’s free website.
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