How would you feel if you knew that the government could pocket more than $6 billion from people just like you and I? I know that to me, that idea is an incredibly unappealing one. But, unless we do something about it, this is our reality.
This is because in August, the Australian Taxation Office announced that there is over $6 billion in unclaimed super. It is lying around in accounts that haven’t been closed but also haven’t had any activity for the last three years. Three years is all you have to claim that super too. In December 2012 when the Labor party was in power, Bill Shorten who was then the Financial Services Minister made a change to the laws around inactive bank accounts and life insurance policies from seven years to only three.
This meant that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission who were each year returning around $10 million worth of funds to their rightful owners free of charge, could no longer provide that service successfully. The recovery agencies who charge a small fortune for their services are the only ones doing this now.
Luckily, there is a way to recover lost funds yourself and make sure you can get your money and keep it out government hands.
You can use SuperSeeker to search for unclaimed super that belongs to you. It runs on the same system that the personal tax return lodgment system does – MyGov.
All you need to do is:
1. Make sure you have a MyGov account. If you don’t, click here to set up your own now.
2. Head to SuperSeeker and log in with your MyGov account details.
3. This will automatically bring up all Super listed against your Tax File Number. Check all of the accounts for anything you weren’t aware of.
4. If you see an old account with a balance that you would like moved to your current account, click “Transfer”.
5. Select the “from” and “to” account and follow the prompts.
And, it is that easy!
You don’t need to let the government take any money than they’re already getting. And in a rare move, this government system is actually making it easier for us to all get our money back.
Have you reclaimed super before? Or have you lost some since the laws around deactivated accounts were changed from seven to three years? Tell us in the comments below…