Government to make a $220 million grab for lost super

The Government is making a grab for 100,000 lost super accounts.

Government to make a $220 million grab for lost super

The Government is about to top up its coffers to the tune of $220 million by taking over the ‘lost’ super accounts of an estimated 100,000 Australians.

By the end of the year, any super funds with balances of up to $6000 that are deemed ‘lost’ or ‘unclaimed’ will be handed over to the Australian Tax Office.

The new $6000 threshold is an increase from the $2000 threshold which was applicable this time last year.

On 31 December 2015, the threshold rose to $4000, which delivered over $196.5 million in revenue. The increase to $6000 will add just under $220 million to the Government’s pockets.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) is urging people to check if they have lost or unclaimed super funds before the new threshold increase comes into effect.

ASFA estimates that a person with a $5000 super fund that is taken over by the ATO will miss out on $225 in annual investment earnings. The Government would take any earnings made by the inherited funds.

While ASFA has lobbied the Government to return any unclaimed super funds to the fund-holder, a Treasury spokesperson claims any lost super funds transferred to the ATO will be protected from fund erosion and will have its value preserved “until they can be reunited with the member”.

“Unlike super funds, the ATO does not charge any fees for maintaining these accounts. A higher threshold means more small lost member accounts can be protected from fee erosion,” said the Treasury spokesperson.

According to an ATO spokesperson, around $234 million in lost super was transferred back to owners in 2015-16. Currently, the tax office holds just under $14 billion in unclaimed super.

We’ve got some great advice on how to check for unclaimed super, or you can head to ASIC to check its unclaimed money database, or click here to learn if a state or territory government has any of your money.

Do you know if you have any unclaimed super? What do you think of the Government making a grab for these accounts?

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    16th Dec 2016
    11:16am
    In this day and age you'd think that governments could FIND the owners of super accounts. How convenient that they cannot!
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    4:43pm
    I agree MICK but it's not as easy as it seems. It is still possible to work under an assumed name regardless of what the law says and any super in that assumed name will gather dust after a time. The law on fees in super accounts is that any account under $1000 can only be charged fees no greater than interest received so there could well be heaps of accounts under $1000 just sitting there doing bugger all.

    People go overseas and decide to stay there, people change names for many reasons and, of course, the backpackers who can't be bothered to claim their compulsory super when they go home. I used to work in finance and if people wanted to stay hidden, they usually could fall off the edge. Not all are good citizens like you and me MICK, they aren't on an electoral roll. It's surprising how many people drive without a licence and if you don't register with Centrelink there's another avenue closed.

    There's also no good reason for government employees to waste their time looking for people just to hand money back. Maybe if there was a commission paid for finding people there would be more diligence. In the old days (I always try not to use that) bank tellers had to put in any shortages and would move heaven and earth to find the error but spent very little time looking for an error where a surplus was involved.
    Geographer
    16th Dec 2016
    11:21am
    It is misleading to say that the government is 'grabbing' lost super accounts. Previously the banks and the super funds held these amounts - making a tidy sum for themselves and subtracting a lot in fees from these generally small accounts. I am quite happy for the ATO to hold these accounts. Owners of the money can always get their money back and they will find that they were better off as the ATO won't deduct any fees.
    Ted Wards
    16th Dec 2016
    11:28am
    Never let the truth get in the way of an attention grabbing headline!
    FEDUP
    16th Dec 2016
    11:35am
    Just imagine, a $220 Million Grab!
    They will be able to fund another 9 movies.
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    7:09pm
    And give themselves a Pay Rise !! Aren't they Overdue ??

    16th Dec 2016
    11:49am
    Right!
    A few months ago I requested some money from my SuperFund to help my situation and was denied!
    Denied my own money!

    Suckers!!
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    12:56pm
    Tel them unless they grant your request you will change your fund. If they still refuse then change your fund to one that will. Many people do this.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    12:55pm
    What really surprises me is that you have to put in you tax file number to find your lost super. Now the ATO has all your details so why aren't they joining the dots and notify people of their lost super instead. Then again it is a great source of interest free money for the government.
    floss
    16th Dec 2016
    1:13pm
    What about the big super grab on January 1 2017,the grab that will see the end of this government. The sooner the better.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    2:31pm
    Whichever government is power nothing much changes. They are all in the same pocket of the "Shadow Government".
    After all, we have few choices as there are only two major parties.
    There would have to be a major shake up and someone courageous enough to stand up to this SUCKERS!
    TMac
    16th Dec 2016
    1:14pm
    For years the government and super industry have been telling the public to find their lost super.

    If people are not interested in finding it then happy for government to sweep it up.
    marls
    16th Dec 2016
    2:13pm
    It's not that easy getting your money my daughter tried to get Hers back under $200 BUT she had to prove her address of over 15 yrs ago of which she could not do she cannot get it
    Pamiea
    16th Dec 2016
    3:18pm
    I think its disgusting
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    7:13pm
    So Do I !! What right have they got ? It should go into a Fund for the HOMELESS !! With NO CEO and Every Penny Accounted for :-) :-)

    16th Dec 2016
    3:46pm
    With this government being the way they have been I reckon they've grabbed that LONG ago.
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    7:14pm
    Governments now are too Disgusting for Words :-( :-( :-(
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    9:37am
    It is no longer the government that has our interest in mind.
    They are puppets of another world mafia pulling the strings....
    TMac
    16th Dec 2016
    9:34pm
    nothing to gain by constant whingeing.... I'll say it again if people aren't interested in their super then in the absence of any realistic ideas, not pie in the sky stuff, then I think its a good idea to put it into consolidated revenue.
    Not Senile Yet!
    17th Dec 2016
    12:33am
    It is the continual mindset that there are only 2 major parties to Vote for!
    A mindset sold by propaganda machines paid for by Both Big Parties!
    If you want to change something...you must first change what You do...to change the result!
    Stop Voting for Corrupt Pariy Puppets...Stop Voting for the Big 2....insread Vote Idependant...and bit the Big 2 Last!
    The result will be ....that you just sacked the the Big 2 and their puppets!
    They will not have any power....because neither will be able to control All the Independants....instead....they will have to do what they did before they were in control by numbers...they will have to negotiate everything....which is what they are paid to do!
    Both Parties no longer want to Govern by negotiation...they want to Rule!
    Time to Stop them!
    Time to Vote Both of them Out of OUR PARLIAMENT!
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    9:36am
    Good comment.
    I no longer vote for any of the major parties.

    They truly need to be voted out! For they don't just WANT to rule: they already RULE, but only as puppets of the Shadow government that pulls the strings.
    Unfortunately, the masses are still 'asleep' and as the dumb sheep follow these suckers, or are just simply afraid.

    If 'they' won't be stopped now we'll be all enslaved.

    Check out this website: www.rightsandwrong.com.au