The ATO today announced its latest figures on lost and unclaimed superannuation accounts.
As at 30 June 2017, there are over 6.3 million lost and ATO-held super accounts with a total value of almost $18 billion.
The figures show that super funds are holding $14.12 billion of lost super, with a further $3.75 billion of unclaimed super held by the ATO.
Assistant Commissioner Debbie Rawlings said the easiest way for people to keep track of their super, find lost or unclaimed super, or combine their accounts is by using ATO online services through myGov.
“Over the past four financial years we’ve reunited 1.68 million accounts worth $8.12 billion with the account owner, and there’s plenty more to be found,” Ms Rawlings said.
“By using myGov to track down your super, the money will be transferred to your preferred fund, generally within three working days.
“More people are finding their lost and unclaimed super through our online services every year, but these figures show there are many people who still may not realise how quickly and easily they can check their super accounts.
“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 have been lost or forgotten, and you can choose to claim or transfer your super online. Alternatively you can call the ATO Super Helpline on 13 10 20 to request direct claim or transfer paper forms, or speak to your super fund.
People can lose contact with their super funds when they change jobs, move house, or haven’t updated their details with their super fund. They may also lose track of their super from accounts established earlier in their career. While the number of people with multiple accounts has been falling, there are still almost 2.3 million Australians with three or more super accounts.
“You might choose to keep multiple accounts, but if you consolidate your multiple super accounts into the one you prefer, you’ll avoid paying multiple sets of fees and charges. If you’re not sure whether to consolidate your accounts, check with your super fund who can advise you on issues such as insurance that may be attached to your accounts.” Ms Rawlings said.
The combined postcode data published at ato.gov.au/lostsuper reveals the following regional and demographic data for the combined accounts of lost super and unclaimed super money:
When is super considered to be ‘lost’?
The term ‘lost superannuation accounts’ is used to refer to accounts held by super funds where they have lost contact with the fund member. By law, after a period, ‘lost super accounts’ and balances are transferred to the ATO and are then considered to be ‘unclaimed super’ held by the ATO.
For the first time, the ATO is publishing unclaimed super accounts, in addition to lost super accounts held by funds.
These accounts are held by the ATO where the fund is unable to contact the member or the member’s account has not received contributions for five years. Accounts of this nature are transferred to ATO to protect the funds from ongoing fees.