If you think you might have lost or unclaimed super, and you happen to be an AMP customer, we can do the legwork for you, free of charge. Alternatively, log in or create a myGov account via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), or contact your previous employers to find out which super funds they may have paid contributions to on your behalf.
If you’re wondering how many Australians have missing super, 2017 figures reveal there’s almost $18 billion worth of super waiting to be claimed by Aussies right across the country1. With approximately 40% of people holding more than one super account2, it’s worth knowing a little more about, what could be, your lost or unclaimed super.
How does super go missing?
People often lose track of super when they change jobs, as they might opt for their employer to put contributions into a new fund and forget to carry over what they accumulated in a previous one. This is when super accounts can start to multiply.
When you couple that with the possibility your address and phone number may change over time, and you might forget to update your contact details with your providers, your previous super fund or funds can lose track of you.
The difference between lost and unclaimed super
What is lost super?
Your super fund will hold onto your super money, but report you as a lost member to the ATO if any of the following apply3:
- you’re uncontactable
- it hasn’t received any contributions or rollovers into your account in the last five years
- your account has been transferred by another super fund as a lost member account, but no contact details for you can be located
What is unclaimed super?
Twice a year, your super fund transfers lost super to the ATO (to hold on your behalf), which is when it becomes unclaimed super. Your super fund will do this if you are4:
- over 65 years old, haven't made a contribution for the past two years and your fund has been unable to contact you for five years
- deceased, and your fund has been unable to pay the benefit to the rightful owner
- a former temporary Australian resident, and it has been six months since you left Australia and since your visa expired
- entitled to be paid your ex-spouse’s super in a divorce, and the fund is unable to contact you
- a lost member whose account balance is less than $6,000
- a lost member whose account has been inactive for 12 months, and your fund does not have the information needed to make a payment to you
Reasons to find your super today
If you have a lost or ATO-held super account, you can reclaim it. And, the good news is, the financial advantages may be considerable. This is because a lost account could have quite a bit of money in it, particularly if it has been earning interest. Plus, if you reclaim it before it’s shifted to the ATO, there could be added benefits. These include:
- you won’t lose insurance cover inside your super which you will if it’s transferred to the ATO
- earnings on investments may be more favourable. This is because if your account is taken by the ATO, interest is calculated using the consumer price index (CPI).
Pros and cons of consolidating super accounts
There are advantages to rolling multiple super accounts into one, but there are important things to consider if you’re thinking about doing so.
- One super account means one set of fees, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars each year and even thousands over many years.
- Having one super account is easier to keep track of with less paperwork and administration.
- You can conduct a lost super search as part of a consolidation process and potentially discover additional super money you never knew you had.
- With one account it may be easier to manage an investment strategy that meets your own goals, circumstances, and appetite for risk.
- Your other super accounts may charge exit or withdrawal fees, so it’s important to ask upfront.
- There could be tax implications depending on your situation.
- You could lose some features and benefits you currently have in other super accounts, which may include things like insurance cover.
Want us to do the legwork?
If you’re an AMP customer, you can use our free super search service to locate your super, which includes active, lost, and ATO-held (unclaimed) super accounts.
If you want to roll your super into your AMP account, we can also do the consolidation work for you, however, it’s important to consider your circumstances and you may want to speak to your adviser.
If you don’t have an adviser, call us on 131 267 or use our find an adviser search function.
In the meantime, to ensure AMP has your most up-to-date details, fill in our update your details form.
1 ATO media release - Almost $18 billion of super waiting to be claimed paragraph 2
2 ATO super accounts data overview paragraph 1
3 - 4 ATO – searching for lost super
This information is provided by AMP Life Limited ABN 84 079 300 379 (AMP Life). It is general information only and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before deciding what’s right for you. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you.
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