Claiming lost super to be simpler

New legislation should make it easier to claim lost superannuation.

New legislation should make it easier to claim lost superannuation, the total of which is estimated to be $20 billion across Australians – that’s a lot of money to go unclaimed.

Details of the draft legislation were released this week, with the aim of the new rules to make it easier for those trying to claim lost superannuation. It will also simplify the process of consolidating accounts, where super fund members have more than one, which will help reduce the fees paid by individuals.

The current legislation allows for super fund administrators to move unclaimed super accounts into an eligible rollover fund (ERF) so that the account doesn’t lose more in fees than it would receive in interest. The new legislation will allow for ERF fund administrators to combine inactive super accounts of any individual, without first having to contact them, to limit fees paid.

Currently, a super account is deemed to be lost if it has a balance of less than $2000 and the fund has been unable to contact the member for 12 months. The changes will acknowledge that people are becoming increasingly likely to contact their super fund via email or through an online transaction. This means that the classification of lost super will no longer be reliant on no communication by mail or phone.

A separate item of legislation is set to increase the balance at which an inactive account is deemed lost from $2000 to $4000.

If legislation is passed, the new rules will take effective from 30 June 2016.

Read more at The Age.

If you think you may have money in lost super, you can find out more on how to search at ATO.gov.au. It is worth noting that some of your details may not be recorded properly, so it’s worthwhile persevering if you think you have money unclaimed.

Have you ever tried to claim lost super? Did you find the process easy?





    COMMENTS

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    Adrianus
    30th Sep 2015
    1:33pm
    An estimated amount of $20 billion across Australians? That is staggering!
    I cannot imagine this belongs to Australian residents. Surely it must belong to illegals or tourists who have forgotten to claim it? My understanding is that a tourist needs to have left Australia before claiming.
    Anonymous
    30th Sep 2015
    2:22pm
    Frank, I think that you'll find the majority of the money belongs to people who change jobs regularly, are dead or very "naive", or have moved overseas. Yes, it is a lot of money.
    Adrianus
    30th Sep 2015
    2:53pm
    Surely in the case of dead people, wouldn't the executors do a search? When I did a search for a friend last year I noticed that there is also quite a lot of super in bank accounts which obviously would not be included in that $20b.
    KSS
    30th Sep 2015
    5:04pm
    Frank tourists are NOT permitted to work on a tourist visa. If ANY of this money is theirs it should be confiscated. If it belongs to "illegals" then they have no rights and it should be confiscated. If it belongs to people who were in Australia on any kind of work visa and they have left Australia permanently without claiming it, well perhaps that's too bad.

    For anyone else i.e. Australian residents/citizens perhaps the ATO, medicare and Centrelink can send reminders to search and claim with forms/payments/refunds/demands!
    Adrianus
    30th Sep 2015
    5:29pm
    Who are these people with lost super? I know that there are about 1million Aussies working overseas, perhaps they own some of it?

    30th Sep 2015
    2:30pm
    The ATO has/had a website to help you find any unclaimed super which led you down the garden path, onto the wrong tracks, and then in a circle to where you'd began - about as helpful as a rubber crutch. ANYTHING would be an improvement, even help from Blind Freddie WITHOUT his dog!
    Adrianus
    30th Sep 2015
    3:09pm
    The ATO will find you in 5 minutes when you owe them money. Funny that! A friend asked me last week to track down his super. The ATO site suggested I contact Fairwork and I thought that would be a good idea because the ATO would not answer the phone after 3 days. Fairwork is obviously staffed by people who are afraid to answer the phone for fear of getting a job to do so I tried their website. After navigating the obstacle course I was told to contact the ATO. WTF????
    I would not have tried to wake them up at Fairwork (knowing how exhausted they must be after 5 years of investigating Craig Thompson), but for the ATO pointing me in their direction.
    I fired off an enquiry from the ATO website. That was 1 week ago and no response yet.
    I think I realise why there is so much money in lost super. It's all too hard and people eventually give up. But not this little bulldog, someone is counting on me!!
    Tom Tank
    30th Sep 2015
    5:15pm
    Illegals or tourists do not have "super" payments made on their behalf. This is one reason why employers are often keen to use them as it save them a lot of money on wages. Recent examples have been seen in the media.