It is possible for people to lose track of their super over the years as they change employers or funds. In this article, we look at how people can track their lost super by using the ATO’s SuperSeeker service.
According to the Commissioner of Taxation’s 2010/11 Annual Report, Australians have around $20.2 billion in lost and unclaimed super.
Lost super refers to situations where people are unable to find their own super accounts. Some people forget to tell their super fund when they change their name, address, or job. Over time, it can become difficult to keep track of super, especially if a person has changed jobs often and has multiple accounts.
Unclaimed super is where a person is eligible to take money from their super account, but the fund is unable to contact them.
Finding lost super
There are a few options available to find lost super.
* Employers. If they don’t know which funds hold their money, people can check with previous employers, who should be able to tell them which funds they contributed super to on their behalf.
* Super funds. Contact funds directly about how much super they hold.
* Use SuperSeeker. Use the ATO’s secure lost super register to find super.
It is important for people to find their lost super savings. Super is designed to help support people during retirement, and needs to be managed to get the best financial outcomes. Consolidating super into one fund could save money on fees, and it is easier to keep track of just one super account, rather than having super with a number of different funds.
How to use SuperSeeker
According to the ATO, people can use SuperSeeker to see a list of all the super funds they have contributed to in the last two financial years. Note that SuperSeeker does not hold records on self-managed superannuation funds.
SuperSeeker can provide a list of any lost super accounts listed under a person’s name, which have been reported to the ATO by super funds. SuperSeeker will also list any unclaimed super money the ATO itself holds for people.
To use SuperSeeker, people can submit a form, call the SuperSeeker service, or do an online search themselves. A Tax File Number, name, and date of birth are required for the search.
If the SuperSeeker identifies lost super under a person’s name, they will be provided with the fund’s details so they can contact the fund directly about what they would like to do with their super savings.
If unclaimed super is found, people will either be provided with the fund details, or if the money has been transferred to the ATO, a form can be lodged to make a formal claim on the money.
For more information, please contact Megan Dahlenburg of RSM Bird Cameron on[email protected] or 02 6217 0300.