The government has $12.5 billion of your money! Here’s how to get it back… 18



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Late last week the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released superannuation data that showed some alarming figures.

There are over 1.29 million lost super accounts in Australia and between them all, they have a combined value of just over $12.5 billion. Amongst these there are some seriously large accounts too.

Somewhere in Western Australia there is someone with $611,818 of unclaimed super and it has not been touched and the holding company has not received any correspondence with the owner for some time, so it has been declared lost.

A Sydney resident also has $147,334 sitting in an account that has now been deemed “lost” too.

There’s so much money in unclaimed super and the reality is that you might not even know you have it – but if you did have that money in your retired pocket it really could make a whole world of difference.

There’s no single reason that super gets lost – it really is varied and changes depending on a range of things. Every time someone starts a new job they’re recommended an automatic super fund – often an industry super fund – and forget about their previous one without rolling it over. Then, a few years ago when Australia post made changes to the post code calibration, it was believed that thousands of correspondence pieces never made it to the addressee. And then there’s the dark side of it. As the New Daily writes, some super accounts are lost out of greedy – a divorce is made easier if one party doesn’t have access to another’s super account.

If you want to find your lost super, you just have to follow these steps:

1. Create a MyGov account or log in to your existing one

2. Make sure your details, especially TFN, are up to date

3. Use SuperSeeker to look for your super

Now, if you find any unclaimed super then you should contact the super fund or ATO immediately.  When you use SuperSeeker it should list whether it is held by a fund, and what fund, or the ATO. If it has been unclaimed for quite some time and the ATO could not find an account to deposit the funds into, then it gets transferred to the ATO and held by them.

With so many people out of pocket right now yet their super sitting in government hands, it’s definitely time for us all to do a search.

Tell us, have you found any lost super over the years? How did you get it back? 

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  1. It is worth checking a friend of mine got over $11,000 is super she had forgotten about, if you stay with the same company all your life, you won’t have lost any but if you move jobs it is worth checking

  2. There is also a lot of money in dormant accounts.
    There was a problem with searching as there were so many separate spots.
    Surely this could be consolidated into one data base.

  3. I think
    It was the Howard Gov that “Deregulated” the industry……topical Conservatives….

  4. LIke me when i tried to get it back i found out most had gone in charges. Dont believe everything on FB

  5. I did not find lost money for myself but I checked my whole family and I found a lost bank account with over $2,000 that belonged to my cousin and yes she got it back. So it is definitely worth the effort. She still owes me a lunch for finding it. Sylvia

  6. Weird isn’t it? Taxation Dept. knows where you are if you owe them money, why doesn’t it work in reverse?

  7. Ken Mason the money goes to the tax office after the account has not been accessed for a period. I helped my friend to retrieve hers online..she was still working at the time and they transferred it to her current super account..she told me it took 2weeks and took me out and bought me lunch to thank me

  8. It happened to me maybe 20 years ago so maybe laws have changed but i had invested approx AU$10kl and what was left was not worth claiming. I was getting letters to collect it from my dormat account which was a joke. The money had not gone to ATO.Mine was through a bank.

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