How your super goes missing
The latest figures from the Australian Taxation Office reveal there is $13.8 billion of lost or unclaimed superannuation in Australia – and some of it could be yours.
If you’ve ever changed your name or job, the chances are that you may have some super that you’ve forgotten ever existed.
People often lose track of super when they switch employers because they opt to put contributions into a new fund and forget to roll over funds from older accounts.
Another common scenario is when you change your address and phone number, but forget to update your contact details with your super fund, which means the fund can easily lose track of you. This is how super accounts can start to multiply, incurring multiple sets of fees and potentially being lost forever.
Keeping track of your accounts is also important because you may have a significant amount of super in an under-performing fund that you don’t know about.
Finding your missing super
Lost or unclaimed super is usually sitting in one of two places:
the ATO – the Tax Office holds super on your behalf if your super fund, your employer or the government can’t find an account for your super deposits
your super fund – it could be holding on to super in an account that has fallen off your radar, and the super balance is probably being eaten up by fees.
There is a distinction between lost and unclaimed super. Your super fund will report you as a lost member if:
you’re not contactable, or
it has not received any contributions or rollovers into your account in the past five years, or
your account has been transferred from another fund as a lost member account and no new address or contact details have been found.
Super is considered to be unclaimed when your super fund transfers lost superannuation to the ATO to hold on your behalf. This occurs in a range of scenarios, including if:
You are aged over 65 and haven't made a contribution for the past two years, and your fund has been unable to contact you for five years
Your account balance is below $6000, with no contributions or rollovers having been received for more than 12 months, and your fund has not been able to contact you.
We can help you find your lost super
Keeping track of your super is easy. We can assist you, even if you don’t know the details of your old super account, or if you have forgotten that you ever had an account. You can then choose to leave your money with the existing fund, or consolidate it into Mercer Super’s fund.
If you consolidate your lost or unclaimed super into a single Mercer Super Trust account, you’ll gain greater control of your money and may reduce the amount of fees you’re paying. However, it’s important that you make an informed choice if you’re thinking about consolidating your super to ensure you are selecting the right fund for you.
Before consolidating your super, remember that it’s important to check with your fund to see if there are any associated transfer fees. You could also potentially lose important insurance cover, or be subject to tax implications, if you transfer funds.
Prior to consolidating we recommend you seek financial advice. Our Helpline Advice team can provide financial advice about your super fund at no additional cost. You can make an appointment with this team by calling our Helpline on 1800 682 525 between 8am-7pm (AEST/AEDT), Monday-Friday.
Search for lost super
We can help you find your super in just minutes. Simply:
1. Log in to your account.
2. Navigate to the ‘Find My Super’ page.
3. Select the first option to ‘Find my super’ and follow the prompts.
If you’re not a Mercer Super Trust member, the Australian Taxation Office provides a similar service. Just log in, or create an account at myGov.au that is linked to the ATO and click on ‘Manage my super’.
Disclaimer: This content has been prepared and sent on behalf of Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Limited (‘Mercer Super’), ABN 79 004 717 533, Australian Financial Services Licence #235906, the trustee of the Mercer Super Trust ABN 19 905 422 981. Any advice contained in this content is of a general nature only, and does not take into account the personal needs and circumstances of any particular individual. Prior to acting on any information contained in this content, you need to take into account your own financial circumstances. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement, Product Guide, Insurance Guide, and Financial Services Guide before making a decision about the product, or seek professional advice from a licensed, or appropriately authorised financial adviser if you are unsure of what action to take. 'MERCER' is a registered trademark of Mercer (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 32 005 315 917. Copyright 2022 Mercer LLC. All rights reserved.