Find Your Lost Super Fund $$ (Superannuation)

Unfortunately many Australians lose track of their superannuation accounts because they don’t treat them as seriously as bank savings.

When they change their name, change their job and their address, they forget to tell the super fund that there has been a change of circumstances and unfortunately that means that there are a lot of people who have lost contact with their superannuation savings.

What it means is that people need to be giving more information to the superannuation funds and make sure that they’re tracking where that money is ..

An account is considered lost if its been inactive for two years or if mail sent out by the super fund is twice returned unanswered. There are plenty of people happy to let their super remain anonymous and dormant, but on the whole the lost accounts belong to a certain type of Australian – highly mobile and in and out of jobs.

Most of the accounts on the register are for people in the age bracket of 25 to 44, and in the main it’s people who’ve been in the workforce since 1992 when super guarantee was introduced.

Lost superannuation has “blown out” from $8.2 billion in 2004-05 to $9.7 billion in 2005-06; a $1.5 billion increase in one year, says the Minister for superannuation, Senator Nick Sherry. The number of lost accounts also increased from 5.4 million to 5.7 million over the same period. One in two adult working australians now has a lost super account.
– excerpt from SMH article “Lost nest eggs close in on $10 billion”

The incoming Rudd Labor Federal Government has announced that they will introduce a system where lost super accounts would be transferred to one central account and filed according to tax file number.

Whenever the Australian Taxation Office receives notification of a current super account, the lost balance would automatically be transferred to it. This should help to transfer some of the billions of lost super to rightful owners.

AUSfund wants to help you find lost superannuation accounts and return these to your active superannuation account and it does so by providing a FREE service to find any lost super that’s waiting for you to claim.

The Ausfund Member Search Service has been created to help you get in touch with your lost superannuation. The Member Search Service checks your details against the 1.3 million records in the AUSfund data base.

There is no charge to use the Member Search Service and you will only be contacted by Ausfund if you send them a AUSfund Enquiry Form. You should never pay anyone to find your lost superannuation money!!

The next step is to use the ATO’s FREE Super Seeker Service which will search other databases of lost super accounts.

18 thoughts on “Find Your Lost Super Fund $$ (Superannuation)”

  1. There is about $5 billion of unclaimed superannuation in them and, with some ERFs [Lost super accounts] taking more than 4 per cent a year in fees, small account balances can be quickly eaten away … It is unlikely that “for-profit” providers of ERFs are going to try too hard to re-unite members with the money in their highly profitable ERFs. By contrast, the AUSfund ERF charges less than 1 per cent a year and has re-united hundreds of thousands of members with their unclaimed super … Action is needed. The total in unclaimed super as at June 2005 was estimated by the tax office to be about $8.2 billion, of which $5 billion is held in ERFs. A year earlier, the total amount of unclaimed super was $7.3 billion

    -excerpt from moneymanager.smh.com.au article “Lost super chewed up in fees”

  2. The Australian Consumers’ Association has commissioned research that puts a figure on how much money is being wasted in fees by consumers holding multiple superannuation accounts … The results of the research, published in the April-May edition of the association’s Choice Money & Rights magazine, show consumers are paying at least $525 million in unnecessary fees each year … The Institute of Chartered Accountants estimates a quarter of Australian adults, or 4.3 million, have more than one superannuation account … Apathy, perhaps driven partly by the small account balances involved, is certainly a big reason behind the high number of multiple accounts.

    -excerpt from smh.com.au article “Super collectors lose out”

  3. A PERTH resident has been reunited with $18,400 in lost superannuation held in NSW Government coffers.

    Almost 225,000 people are missing out on a personal dividend, windfall or entitlement that could be theirs at a keystroke, the NSW Government says.

    More than $100 million in unclaimed cash is sitting in the Government’s coffers, including $761,000 from one deceased estate.

    – excerpt from news.com.au article “Super surprise”

    For more information visit the NSW Office of State Revenue website

  4. The Federal government has legislated to manage “lost” superannuation funds and is seeking to streamline (and hopefully improve) the management of lost super funds.

    In future, members will be encouraged to seek their lost super by accessing a single Federal government one-stop-shop for all non State-government super that is deemed to be “lost”. The government is clearly of the view that this will reduce many of the problems currently faced by members endeavouring to locate lost funds, particularly where it becomes necessary for them to deal with more than one State entity in the process.

    – excerpt from the article “A few issues with Simplifying Super regime” by Superannuation Australia

    As the trend towards job mobility continues, the government has acknowledged that the $9.7 billion sum could balloon even further and has included a new ruling in the latest Costello budget that will give the ATO more resources to reunite individuals with their lost super.

    A spokesman from Ausfund, one of the country’s leading eligible rollover funds (ERFs), has said that many of the new ‘simpler super’ ruling that could come into effect in July 1 this year will reduce the amount held in lost super. “The Tax File Number (TFN) requirement for example will allow us to track down more people and give them the information about their unclaimed super funds.”

    The introduction of a standard rollover form will also reduce the paperwork involve and incentivise people to consolidate their superfunds.

    – excerpt from financialstandard.com.au article “All is not lost”

  5. I use Hesta Superannuation, who helped me find my lost super on my behalf. I reckon it’s worth asking your super fund for help – it’s in their interests to do so, especially if you’re going to rollover your super into their fund.

  6. The real issue with lost super falls squarely on super funds and eligible roll over funds not to disclose basic details on the web so that you can at least establish an existence of an account that matches your TFN.All super funds should have on their web site a simple search facility like the Ausfund page.

    Ausfund fall short – For the best results you should search the 5 major ERF’s and the two major administrators.

  7. What happens to your super if you move overseas? Apparently you have to wait till you’re 60/65 to get at it as there’s no way Ausfund can release it to a non-superfund account, like my regular checking account for example.

    If the govt/Ausfund are so keen to reunite people with their superfunds, why is there absolutely no provision for those that may have lost it and moved away from Australia?

    Any answers, I’m *all* ears, I have a small yet ‘significant’ amount stuck in Ausfund but I no longer live in the country and I’m not an Aussie citizen either 🙁

    Cheers 🙂

  8. @ Russ

    I heard that if you’re leaving Australia for good, you can withdraw you super provided that you prove that you’re no longer coming back & don’t have ties here either. I think they will consider case by case basis. Good luck!!

  9. really appreciate the information given here. it has been very helpful for me specially because i am changing my address but wouldn’t have cared to let the super fund know if i have hadn’t read this article.

  10. At the moment I think it still depends on which fund you are with as to where your “lost super” ends up? Many Industry Super Funds such as MTAA Super use Ausfund as their ERF.

  11. over the years i have travelled have changed my name and now family illness has stop me working. I only no of one superfund I’m in and thats Australiansuper. before changing my name it was cherie leanne Armstrong. If possible would like help in finding all my superfund thankyou charlie vale.

  12. Are there groups who will search for you for not only lost but all funds you have ever had. I have had over 30 jobs in my life and the search in ATO only come in with 2 and i only remember 3 others. Need a firm that searches on my behalf with all funds. dont mind having to pay

  13. Teach your kids to use they same super fund account every time they change jobs. I was stupid and let each employer put it into their default one (lazy me). Must of lost thousands in multiple super fund accounts from fees and the rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *