Australians set to lose $480 million in super. Is your fund at risk? 6



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Are you keeping a close eye on your super? If not, you could be at risk of losing a sizeable portion of it – completely legally, and without even realising it.

According to the Herald Sun, new legislative changes will mean up to $480 million in our combined retirement funds could be lost to the Australian Tax Office.

On December 31, the “lost superannuation threshold”, which covers unclaimed retirement funds, has been raised from $2000 to $4000.

This means that if you have an old superannuation fund of up to $4000 that has not been updated in five years, or does not have up-to-date information, this unclaimed money could soon be handed over to the ATO.

While several grand might amount to small change for some, reclaiming this money could make an enormous for many, whether it means making the next bill or funding the next holiday.

Tom Garcia, chief executive officer of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, told the Herald Sun that this was a way of “mopping up” idle accounts.

“We have got nearly 30 million superannuation accounts for around 12 million working Australians, so there’s too many accounts”.

While he points out that this money can later be chased up and retrieved from the ATO, you will lose any insurance.

According to a prior report by The Advertiser, there is more than $15.9 billion sitting in lost and unclaimed super.

As almost half of the Australian population has more than one super account, this means many of us are paying twice as much in fees and insurance premiums as necessary.

If you are concerned about lost super that has previously been claimed by the ATO, the Australian Government has an online service to help you reclaim it. Signing up for myGov is a relatively smooth and easy process, and can help you consolidate your super funds without filling out any paperwork.

How do you feel about this “mopping up” process? Have you checked your old accounts for unclaimed super?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. The Superfunds want these changes I expect as these funds can’t legally be eroded away by fees anymore. I doubt it makes much difference if it leaves the superfund. It wouldn’t be growing in size. People who’ve had lots of jobs and had super paid on their behalf should check with the ATO and find out if they have lost super. I used to work in an area chasing unpaid superannuation and it amazed me how long it took some people to realise their employer wasn’t paying it.

    2 REPLY
    • Thanks for that insight Barbara. I have often wondered how people could have lost super. When my daughter changed jobs a couple of years ago she was able to have her contributions sent to the same fund as she had at her previous job. So even though she works for the federal government her super is Qsuper. I don’t understand why more people don’t do this instead of having a different super fund every time they get a new job.

    • Debbie there was a time that wasn’t easy to do. The rules were changed allowing people to nominate their own funds, it was once the employers choice. Now all those little amounts can be rolled over into a fund of choice so that is the sensible thing for people to do.

  2. I have a firm grip on my superannuation funds and monitor them weekly. No problems here.

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