Find lost super: How to find unclaimed or lost super money

You could have thousands of dollars in lost super. Here’s how to find it and bring it home.

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Your superannuation is one of the most important assets you own, providing the funds you need to enjoy a financially secure retirement. But if you’ve changed jobs or even moved house, you could have lost or unclaimed super out there somewhere just waiting to be found.

Keep reading to find out how to track down your lost super.

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced Super Fund

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced Super Fund

Choose from an extensive range of investment options and enjoy discounted rates on select banking products when you join AustralianSuper.

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What is lost super?

Keeping track of your super isn’t always an easy task. If you’ve changed jobs, changed your name or address, or even done some casual or part-time work, there’s a chance you may have lost track of some of your super.

Lost super occurs when your super fund is unable to contact you about your account. This means that your account remains idle but annual fees will still be deducted from your balance.

Your super fund will also report you as a lost member if it has not received any contributions or rollover amounts from you in the last five years, or if your account was transferred over from another fund as a lost member account and your address still hasn’t been found.

How to find your lost super

  1. Create a myGov online account and link it to the ATO.
  2. View the details of all your super accounts, including any you may have lost track of.
  3. Find lost super that you can rollover into a super account you choose.
  4. Find any super the ATO is holding on your behalf.
  5. Consolidate multiple super accounts into one account.

If you don’t have a myGov account, a paper ‘Searching for lost super’ form is available for download from the ATO website.

What is unclaimed super?

The ATO may also be holding some unclaimed super for you. Unclaimed super is created when super funds transfer the balance of small, inactive accounts to the ATO, which then holds it on your behalf. To be considered inactive, an account must not have received a contribution for at least 12 months.

Twice a year, super funds must report and pay the following unclaimed super money to the ATO:

  • Unclaimed super for a member 65 years or older, a non-member spouse or a deceased member
  • Unclaimed super of former temporary residents
  • Lost member accounts with balances of less than $6,000
  • Lost member accounts which have been inactive for at least five years and which do not have enough records to ever be able to identify the account owner

How big is the problem?

How much lost and unclaimed super is out there? According to the ATO, at 30 June 2017 there were over 6.3 million lost and ATO-held super accounts with a combined total value of just under $18 billion. That’s an astonishing amount of money that could be used to help many Australians enjoy a more comfortable retirement.

Why search for your lost and unclaimed super?

What’s the point of tracking down lost and unclaimed super? The most important thing to remember is that it’s your money, not the ATO’s, and it’s money you worked hard to accumulate. That money can help you pay for your retirement and see out your golden years in comfort, so why not claim what’s rightfully yours?

According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard, if you’re a single person aged around 65, to enjoy a modest lifestyle in retirement you’ll need an annual income of $27,368. (If you want a comfortable lifestyle, that figure rises to $42,764 per year. You can find out more about the recommended savings for different life stages in our guide to retirement savings here). By tracking down and claiming lost super, you could be one step closer to building the retirement savings balance you need.

Finally, we should also stress the importance of searching for your lost super now rather than waiting a few months or even years to get onto it. Why? Fees. If you hold multiple super accounts you’ll also be paying fees on multiple super accounts. And when you consider that your fund could charge anywhere between 0.5 and 1% (or even higher) of your balance each year in fees, it quickly becomes clear that it’s best to sort the problem out sooner rather than later.

How to consolidate your super

Okay, you’ve used the ATO’s online tools to track down a couple of lost super accounts in your name, so what’s next? The best thing you can do is to consolidate all your super accounts into one account. Not only will this help you save on fees – you’ll only have to pay fees on one account instead of several – but it will also make it a lot easier to keep track of your super moving forward.

To consolidate your super, follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose a fund. Consider the investment options, past performance and fees of a range of funds to decide which one is right for you.
  2. Don’t forget about insurance. Remember to consider the insurance cover provided by each fund and make sure you will still have adequate cover in place with whichever option you choose.
  3. Open an account. If you’ve decided to join a new super fund, you’ll need to apply for an account. However, you could also decide to use one of your existing accounts.
  4. Rollover super. You can rollover super from any surplus accounts through a myGov account linked to the ATO.
  5. Let your employer know. Make sure your employer has the correct details of your super account so that your contributions go to the right place.

Choosing a super fund to consolidate your super

Now that you know how to consolidate your super, compare the different super funds below to find the one that is right for you.

Name Product Past Performance - 1 Year Past Performance - 3 Years Performance - 5 Years Calculated fees p.a. on $50,000 balance
AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option
0.56%
6.67%
7.37%
$411.18
AustralianSuper is an award-winning industry super fund and the largest super fund in Australia. The Balanced fund invests in a mix of different assets like shares, property and cash.
Virgin Money Super - Lifestage Tracker
-0.86%
6.46%
$358
Virgin Money Super's Lifestage Tracker invests in a range of different assets in line with your age, reducing your risk as you get older, and has some of the lowest fees in the market.
Australian Ethical Super Balanced
2.77%
6.88%
6.88%
$622
Certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
Australian Ethical seeks to invest in companies that have a positive impact on the planet, people and animals, such as renewable energy and healthcare while avoiding investments in coal, oil, tobacco and gambling.
Sunsuper Lifecycle Balanced
-1.69%
5.7%
6.45%
$453
Sunsuper is an award-winning super fund with more than 1.4 million members. Its Lifecycle Balanced option invests your super in a mix of growth assets, and reduces your risk when you're near retirement.
QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1
-0.35%
5.97%
6.91%
$315
QSuper is one of the largest member-owned funds in Australia. The QSuper Lifetime fund adjusts your investments each 7-10 years as you get older, so you're not taking on too much risk.
Spaceship GrowthX
11.93%
14.45%
$573
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver high returns over the long term.
Spaceship's Growth X fund invests heavily in Australian and international shares, with a focus on technology stocks. Performance figures and fees supplied by Spaceship, not Chant West.
Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow
-0.39%
N/A
$588
A Catholic super fund open to all Australians and designed for people working in Catholic education, healthcare or aged care.The Lifetime One fund option changes your investment mix as you get older.
Aware MySuper Life Cycle Growth
1.33%
6.34%
6.56%
$549.42
Aware Super is a not-for-profit fund with more than 750,000 members. The MySuper product invests your super in a pre-mixed Growth fund until you’re 60, then it’ll switch to Balanced.
LUCRF MySuper Balanced
-0.91%
4.7%
5.2%
$497
LUCRF Super is an industry super fund open to all Australians with 11 different investment options available. Its default MySuper Balanced option is a simple, diversified portfolio designed to suit most members.
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The information in the table is based on data provided by Chant West Pty Ltd (AFSL 255320) which is itself supplied by third parties. While such information is believed to be accurate, Chant West does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in such information. Chant West’s Financial Services Guide is available at https://www.chantwest.com.au/financial-services-guide . Finder offers no guarantees or warranties about the data and we recommend that users make their own enquiries before relying on this information. Performance, fees and insurance data is based on each fund's default MySuper product. Where the performance, fees and insurance data for the MySuper fund vary according to the member's age, results for individuals between 40-49 years of age have been shown. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

*Past performance data is for the period ending June 2020.

How to keep track of your super

There’s also plenty you can do to ensure that you don’t end up with lost or unclaimed super in the first place:

  • Track it with the Finder app. The free Finder app can track your superannuation accounts and investments, helping you stay on top of your finances. Learn more about the app.
  • Check your super statement. When your fund sends out your annual super statement, review all the information it contains to make sure it’s still correct. If there are any errors, for example, if you’ve changed your name and this is not reflected in the statement, contact your super fund and let them know.
  • Choose a fund and stick with it. Many of us change jobs multiple times early in our careers, so it’s worth finding a super fund you like and then making sure each new employer pays contributions to the same fund. To do this, use the ‘Superannuation standard choice form’ to tell your employer of your choice of fund as soon as you start a new job.
  • Update your details. If you’ve moved house or changed your name, remember to update the details on your super account. This way your fund will always be able to get in touch with you when needed.
  • Make a contribution. How long has it been since your super account received a contribution? By making a small contribution every now and then, you could prevent your account being declared inactive.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    IvanAugust 2, 2017

    Have worked in Australia around two years.Didnt claim my super many years.Receintly contacted to Tax Office ,they hold only small amount of my super contributions.How to find other funds of my super?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeAugust 3, 2017Staff

      Hi Ivan,

      Thanks for your question.

      You may also check our page here for other ways to find your lost super.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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