$20 Billion in unclaimed super, that’s a hell of a lot of super. That works out at $2,265 per every working Australian. If 50% of the working population have unclaimed super that’s $4,530 each. Say 10% $22,650 per person. If that money was invested now imagine what it would be worth in 10, 20 or 30 years’ time.
These figures would indicate that there are plenty of people out there that have unclaimed super but are not aware of it.
Importantly, if you are over 65 you can cash in your unclaimed super now as you have already met a condition of release.
The most common reasons that people lose touch with their superannuation are;
• Changing jobs. People change jobs more frequently now than they did twenty or thirty years ago. At the time of changing jobs their superannuation balance is not a priority.
• Moving home. Particularly with people renting premises, once the person changes homes the mail continues to go to the previous residence and the mail is not returned to sender. Also, if the mail is returned to sender the superannuation fund does not have details of the employee’s new contact details.
• Contractors. Individual contractors are eligible for superannuation from their employer. Many taxpayers are not aware, hence they don’t follow up their superannuation through the particular employer.
• Changing name. This is particularly the case with females that get married. Females may seek to find their superannuation balance via their married name. However, the members account may be in their maiden name.
So what do you do?
The first place to start would be the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The main reason I would use the ATO is because most superannuation funds would have your tax file number (TFN) on their contact details. While your name, address and employer details may have changed, your TFN would not have changed.
You can search ‘Australian Taxation Office searching for lost and unclaimed super’. That should lead you to a two page form. You can complete and lodge the form online. See how you go completing and lodging this form.
Now, I know what you are thinking. You’re saying to yourself none of your super will be missing, but that is what the members of $20 Billion of super have continued to say.
Should you have any problems searching for your lost or unclaimed superannuation please feel free to contact Peter Quinn by calling +61 2 9580 9166.