Want a clue as to where you can find your lost super fund?
It sounds mad; you lost your money. However, it’s more common than you’d think. In fact, in 2015, more than 17 billion dollars worth of super funds went unclaimed.
So the question is, how is it that easy to lose so much money?
The biggest culprit in losing a superannuation fund is switching jobs. Each time you start a new job, it is more than likely that your employer starts a new super fund account in your name unless you say otherwise. But once you misplace your original super fund, there are still ways to go about finding it again. Let’s take a look.
#1. Check the Lost Members Register
Sure, you have a super fund. But have you not contributed recently or not heard from a provider representative in regards to your fund? You may very well be considered to be a lost member and not even know it. The thing about a super fund is that in order to remain an active member, you must do one or both of the following:
- Confirm your address at least once within a two year time frame.
- Indicate that you would like to remain a member of your fund.
If you have been inactive, unable to contact, or transferred from one super fund provider to another as a lost member, than you are most likely on the Lost Members Register.
#2. Create a myGov Account
This is the most beneficial choice for you. On top of being able to locate any lost super, you’ll be able to see all super fund account overviews from one place and even combine multiple super funds into one ‘preferred super fund’. All you’ll need to do is create an account and link it to the ATO.
#3. Use the ATO Superseeker Tool
This is what you’re looking for if you want to locate your lost super; quick, easy and painless. All you need to have handy is the following information:
- Your TFN
- Your family name
- Your given name
- Your DOB
You’ll need to provide the exact information (yes, spelling counts) in order to turn up any results. That shouldn’t be too difficult for most, considering what is being asked for. You will be provided with an answer as quick as you can enter the information. From there, you can complete a transfer request to import your lost funds into a preferred super fund.
#4. Download the ATO Mobile App
Got super? There’s an app for that! In addition to some other helpful features, the ATO lets you conduct what they call a ‘Quick Search’ for lost super right from your mobile phone. Essentially, this is the mobile version of the Superseeker Tool discussed above. Again, you’ll absolutely need to provide your exact and most up-to-date information provided to the ATO in order to receive any results.
#5. Take an educated guess based on your industry
This isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem. When it comes down to it, super funds are typically divided by industry. If all else fails, think about your last job and the industry you were involved in. There’s a good chance that your lost super could be in the hands of that provider.
#6. Ring the ATO
When it comes to phoning the ATO, you have a couple of options:
- Use the self-help phone service. This automated service is a limited search, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 13 28 65 (Fast code 1 then 2). Have your TFN and DOB handy.
- Phone them directly 13 10 20, between 8:00am and 6:00pm, Monday to Friday. You’ll be able to speak with an actual person who can do a direct search for you.
Here’s what you should do next…
You’ve found your super fund (or at least know how to)! That’s great. Now you need to reclaim it, if you haven’t done so already. Once you’ve figured out where your super has been hiding, contact that fund provider directly. It’s time to transfer the money to your preferred super fund. Why? This will ultimately just consolidate all of your super funds into one. Don’t know how to choose one? Begin your research by taking a deeper look into your industry super funds. This may bring you to the best choice, since it will specifically cater to your line of work.
Once you’ve found your lost super fund, don’t forget to report any future contributions on your tax return. In some cases, you can report these contributions as deductions, which will lower your taxable income.
Tags: ATO, lost superannuation, Superannuation