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Aussies missing out on $16 billion in lost and unclaimed super

Aussies could be billions of dollars richer by finding their lost or unclaimed super. And it only takes a few minutes.

People walking and Australian money. Lost and unclaimed super concept.
Aussies are missing out on $16 billion in lost and unclaimed super. (Source: Getty)

Aussies have $16 billion in lost or unclaimed superannuation, new data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has revealed.

That’s an increase of $2.1 billion since last financial year, with the ATO urging Aussies to check their myGov account to see if some of the money is theirs.

ATO deputy commissioner Emma Rosenzweig said lost or unclaimed super could be found in a matter of minutes.

“People often lose contact with their super funds when they change jobs, move house, or simply forget to update their details,” Rosenzweig said.

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“This doesn’t mean your super is lost forever – far from it. By accessing ATO online services through myGov, you can easily find your lost or unclaimed super.”

Super funds currently hold $10.4 billion in lost super, while the ATO has $5.6 billion. Super becomes ‘lost’ when it is still held by the fund but the member is uncontactable or the account is inactive.

Unclaimed super is transferred to the ATO when it meets certain criteria, such as being from an inactive, low-balance account.

Almost one in four Aussies have two or more super accounts, the ATO revealed, which could lead to forgetting about or losing your super.

“While we know that some people intentionally maintain a number of accounts, some are unaware that this is the case. If you’ve unknowingly got multiple accounts, you could possibly be losing hundreds of dollars a year to fees,” Rosenzweig said.

To avoid lost super, the ATO urged Aussies to make sure their contact information and bank details were correct.

Billions waiting to be claimed

Money-saving guru and author of Easy Money Joel Gibson said lost super was a growing problem, but that it had never been easier to find it.

“This year in particular, we are going to need every last dollar we can find. If you have never done a lost super search before or you have tried and it was complicated and too hard, do it again now because it has gotten easier,” Gibson told Yahoo Finance.

“There is more money out there and some people find thousands of dollars they didn’t even know they were entitled to.”

As well as superannuation, there is also $2.5 billion in unclaimed money sitting with federal and state governments.

“This is money that didn’t make its way to you for whatever reason. It usually has to do with people moving house, so it might be a cheque that was sent to a wrong address,” Gibson said.

How to find lost super

You can search for lost super through your myGov account linked to the ATO. Click on ‘Manage my super’ and follow the prompts. You can also call the ATO’s search line on 13 28 65.

You can check for other unclaimed money (not super) through the following websites:

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