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How super can become 'lost'?

In our busy lives it can be easy to lose track of super funds over the course of a working career. If you have ever changed jobs, held multiple part-time or casual jobs, or relocated without letting your super fund know your new address, chances are you could have some ‘lost’ super.

Understanding lost super

Your super account will generally be considered ‘lost’ if:
 

  • No contributions or rollovers have been added to your super account in the last 12 months, the super fund has made one or more attempts to contact you and your super fund has reasonable grounds to believe you can no longer be contacted at the address you provided; and
  • You have not contacted your super fund within the last 12 months; and
  • You have not accessed details about your super fund through any electronic facility provided by the fund (e.g. an app) within the last 12 months
  • For employer-default super plans, no contributions or rollovers have been added to your super account in the last five years.
     

Under some circumstances the balance in your ‘lost’ super could be transferred from your super fund to the ATO, for example, where:
 

  • Your account balance is less than $6,000; or
  • Your super fund is unable to identify you as the account holderbased on the information they have available to them.
     

The ATO could also be holding other super amounts for you such as super guarantee amounts paid to them by a previous employer, super contributions or low income super contributions paid to you by the Government. 

Lost and unclaimed accounts

Lost super accounts are still held by super funds, whereas unclaimed super money is transferred to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

ATO figures show that as at 30 June 2019 there are approximately 2.8 million lost and unclaimed ATO held accounts with a total value of $20.8 billion. If some of that belongs to you, you could be missing out on something more than extra retirement savings. You might also have life insurance you didn’t know about.
 

Some lost superannuation funds have a life insurance policy that’s still active, often with the premiums still being deducted from the fund balance. This means your family could be financially protected by one of these policies, if tragedy should occur.

It’s another good reason to find lost super.

Finding your super

To find out if any of the billions of lost super is yours, please visit the ATO website for more information.

Things you should know

*The ATO website reported there are approximately 2.8 million lost and unclaimed ATO held accounts with a total value of $20.8 billion in lost super as at 30 June 2019.

The information shown on this site does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. Any taxation position described is a general statement and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current tax laws and our interpretation. Your individual situation may differ and you should seek independent professional tax advice.

BT Funds Management Limited ABN 63 002 916 458, AFSL No.233724 (BTFM), the trustee and issuer of interests in BT Super for Life, which is a part of Retirement Wrap ABN 39 827 542 991. A PDS for BT Super for Life can be obtained by calling 1300 653 553 or by visiting bt.com.au. You should obtain and consider the PDS before deciding whether to acquire, continue to hold or dispose interests into BT Super for Life.

BTFM is a subsidiary of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac). An investment in BT Super for Life is not an investment in, deposit with or any other liability of Westpac, St.George Bank, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne (which are Divisions of Westpac), or any other company in the Westpac Group. It is subject to investment risk, including possible delays in repayment of withdrawal proceeds and loss of income and principal invested. Westpac and its related entities do not stand behind or otherwise guarantee the capital value or investment performance of an investment with BTFM.

Before requesting a rollover, you should consider where your future employer contributions will be paid (if your employer contributions are currently being paid to another fund) and check with your fund(s) to determine whether there are any fees, including exit or withdrawal fees, for moving your benefit, or other loss of benefits (e.g. insurance cover), noting that you may not receive the same type or level of benefits after the rollover. If you have a pre-existing medical condition you may not receive a benefit for a death or Disablement claim. Please check to see if you are covered before submitting your application.

Superannuation is a preserved asset subject to conditions of release. You will need to satisfy a condition of release to access these funds.

Information current as at May 2020.