Lost super: how to track down your share of $18 billion


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It's easy to lose track of a super fund or two, especially in the early phase of your working life when you might be doing part-time work or working multiple jobs for relatively short periods. It's surprising how easy it is to forget about a super fund linked to a job you did for only a few months.

It might only have a few hundred dollars in it but with a few years (or decades) of growth added those lost contributions could significantly improve your wellbeing in retirement.

According to the ATO, there were over 6.3 million lost super accounts as at June 30, 2017, with a total value of almost $18 billion.

lost super missing super superannuation consolidate mygov my gov mark chapman

Out of that total, the super funds held $14.12 billion and the rest was held by the tax office.

If you think you might have lost super somewhere in the system, the easiest way to track it down is through myGov. Simply link your myGov account to ATO online services and all your super funds, including ones you'd forgotten you had, should appear.

As it generally makes financial sense to consolidate your super into as few funds as possible (to keep fees and charges to a minimum), you can also transfer or consolidate your funds through myGov.

You can do the same thing by calling the ATO Super infoline on 13 10 20 or, alternatively, you can complete the form "Searching for lost super" (NAT 2476) and send it to: Australian Taxation Office, PO Box 3578, Albury NSW 2640.

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Mark Chapman is director of tax communications at H&R Block, Australia's largest firm of tax accountants, and is a regular contributor to Money. Mark is the author of Life and Taxes: A Look at Life Through Tax.
November 8, 2017 8.12pm

The govt can track you down for every cent you owe them. I find it impossible to believe that they can't find you for your lost super !!!

Andrew Akuoko
November 13, 2017 10.18am

You make a valid point, Sue. Some super funds do offer consolidating services using data from government sources. These funds, if you're a member of one, proactively search for lost super funds for their members and send you details, requiring your signature to consolidate.
Much as it is a good and simple way to consolidate your funds, I'd encourage you to seek expert financial advice before doing so as you may have insurances in some of your funds and consolidating may automatically close your account and thus close your insurances. If you have pre-existing illnesses which may preclude you from obtaining insurances, you may be leaving yourself exposed.