Nick Xenophon calls for end to superannuation “rip-off”

The government took action to make changes to superannuation, but Nick Xenophon says they missed one "rip-off" and he wants to stop it.
Senator Nick Xenophon is calling for an end to what he has described as a "super fund rip off".

As you would no doubt be aware the government made a raft of changes to the superannuation rules during the last budget.

But one of the rules they didn’t touch relates to ‘lost’ superannuation.

Each yeah the government takes hundreds of millions of dollars from super accounts it deems as ‘lost’.

In fact according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), they’ve taken $2.7 billion from these ‘lost’ superannuation accounts since 2012 – and some of that money could be yours.

While it’s your responsibility to make sure you trace your super funds and consolidate it all into one account, Nick Xenophon wants that to change.

He’s described the government reclaiming ‘lost’ superannuation as a “super fund rip-off”.

“The onus instead needs to be on the ATO to actively pursue the rightful owner of the funds – not the other way around,” he wrote on Facebook yesterday.

“A lot of Australians are rightfully confused when it comes to superannuation and the ATO, being a massive government agency with massive resources, should be assisting those people, not ignoring them and holding onto their money.”

So, how does a superannuation account become ‘lost’?

Well, the government claims inactive accounts of up to $6000. That’s an account that hasn’t been contributed to, updated, moved or consolidated over a certain period of time.

The threshold was $2000 in 2012, but in the past two years it’s moved to $4000 and then to $6000.

Senator Xenophon’s idea reportedly has the backing of ASFA, who told NewsCorp it was a “practical and sensible course of action”.

He is drafting the legislation to change the superannuation rules, which could force the Australian Taxation Office to find and return billions of dollars of lost superannuation funds to their owners.

The senator is calling for an urgent vote in parliament on the matter next month.




  1. Murray Walker  

    God on ya’ Nick!
    A politician with a moral compass, so refreshing in the herd of self interested representatives we have put in control of our country.

  2. Peter C  

    Even more importantly would be to change the rules to Superfunds only being able to charge fees gpbased on what they earn for you – NOT deduct their fees first & then invest a lesser amount on your behalf.
    Current way those barstards always ensured they get their BIGGER share of the pie & only scraps left for their clients
    Fees on earnings only will seriously focus them on doing what they profess to do (currently half heartedly) & will guarantee bette returns to policy holders NOT superfund staff & shareholders – remove the conflict of interest

  3. Moira  

    Correct me if I am wrong, wasn`t it the Gillard Government that used all the “lost” super when they were in ??

    • Jaquix  

      No, I think she shortened thev length of time it took to be called “lost” and the govefnment couldcthen use it. Nick Xenophon will get a lot of points with his proposal for ATO to match up tax file numbers with owners, often casual workers who dont understand superannuation is their money.

  4. Ele  

    And the current mob rushed to fix the problem ?

  5. Guy Flavell  

    Nick X should be absolutely ashamed of himself in blocking the latest omnibus bill.
    Can’t he see that this sort of obstructionist attitude to desperately needed budget
    repair is disastrous for the Australian economy ? Why can’t he and his cronies offer
    some positive solutions and try to reign in the national debt which is about to reach
    $500 BILLION ???

    • Jaquix  

      When are they going to chase the top end of townnfir budget repair, not getting welfare recipients to pay for all their “savings”. Latest blackmail/carrot of NDIS getting some “savings” is unconscionable.

  6. david charlton  

    when are they going to review their own outrageous super scheme … that’s the biggest rip off…..

  7. Carmen parisi  

    Who chases the employer who does not contribute to his employee”s supafund, rang ato, non of their business who do u report of these problems

  8. Definitely agree, put it in the hands of the ATO to data match including those who have left the workforce, and while they are at it, old and disused bank accounts people have lost track of. There might be a little windfall for some struggling pensioner there.

  9. Robin Henry  

    Given that the ATO has the names of all people associated with superannuation accounts, if the account is not accessed for the legislated period (2 years?) that money should be transferred to a holding account at the ATO (and not spent because it isn’t their money) and the relevant taxpayer advised.

    I agree with Sen X.

    Remember also, it’s not only superannuation accounts from which government can take money, it’s also unaccessed bank accounts. But owners can apply to have the funds returned and it apparently takes six months.

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