How to get your hands on a share of $1bn in lost super
Exclusive: More than 700,000 Australians are set to receive their share of a $1 billion windfall before Christmas as they are reunited with their lost superannuation.
The Australian Taxation Office reunites people with super twice a year if they have lost touch with their fund or the ATO has held unclaimed money on their behalf.
Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) deputy chief executive officer Glen McCrea said impacted Australians should see the money flow into their super accounts by the end of the year.
"The amount of money to be transferred back into people's super accounts will vary from small amounts up to thousands of dollars," Mr McCrea said.
"We estimate that the average amount will be around $1600."
For account holders who have inactive super accounts with amounts less than $6000 and they have not received any contributions or rollover amounts in the last five years the money will automatically be transferred into their active super account.
While those aged 65 or over and who have a balance of less than $200, the ATO will transfer the money to their bank accounts, provided they have the details.
For amounts above $6000 the money will be deposited into a person's super fund or bank account depending on the circumstances.
An ATO spokesman said at June 30 they held $20.5 billion in lost and unclaimed super.
They even reunited a 78-year-old with more than $200,000 in super who was not aware they had a large amount of money missing.
Assistant Minister for superannuation, financial services and financial technology Senator Jane Hume said changes were being rolled out in July next year that would also help people keep super in their own pockets.
"The Your Future, Your Super package will address a structural flaw of our superannuation system by having superannuation accounts follow you, preventing the creation of unintended multiple superannuation accounts when employees change jobs," she said.
AustralianSuper's group executive of membership Rose Kerlin said it was important Australians were handed back their missing money particularly ahead of the festive season.
"Who knows, you might find yourself a very nice early Christmas surprise," she said.
"Consolidating super accounts is important because multiple super accounts means paying unnecessary fees and people may also be paying for insurance that doesn't suit their needs.
"There is still around $20 billion in lost and unclaimed super being held by the ATO so we would definitely encourage people to be proactive and check to see if any of these savings belong to them."
During the pandemic many cash-strapped Australians have also been forced to dip into their super early - $36.7 billion has been paid out to more than 2.96 million applicants.
FIND LOST SUPER
• Visit the ATO online via your myGov account.
• Make sure all your correct details are provided.
• Phone the ATO's lost super contact centre on 13 28 65.
• Complete a paper form. This can be downloaded on the ATO's website.
• Contact your existing fund to search on your behalf.
Originally published as How to get your hands on a share of $1bn in lost super