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.

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.

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 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 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.

Consolidating 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 a few 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.

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed Balanced Super Fund Offer

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced Super Fund

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed Balanced Super Fund Offer

  • 2019 Finder Awards Winner: Best Super Fund - Balanced
  • Join and consolidate your super with the easy-to-use mobile app
  • Australia's best performing growth fund over 10 years*
*To June 2019, according to Chant West. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.
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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 Past 5 year performance Calculated fees on $50,000 balance
1.21%
7.56%
7.84%
$467.65
The Balanced option is a pre-mixed, MySuper fund that invests in a diversified range of asset classes.
AustralianSuper is an award-winning industry super fund and is the largest super fund in Australia.
1.9%
7.51%
7.47%
$523
The Lifecycle Balanced option is a MySuper product that invests your super in a balanced fund until you’re near retirement.
Earn a Retirement Bonus of up to $4,800 when you open a new Income account. T&Cs apply.
2.85%
7.57%
N/A
$395
The Lifetime option is a MySuper product that adjusts your investment mix each 7-10 years as you get older.
QSuper is a member-owned super fund and is one of the largest super funds in Australia.
-1.36%
N/A
N/A
$358
The Lifestage Tracker is a MySuper product that invests in a range of asset classes in line with your age.
Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for making contributions to your super. T&Cs apply.
1%
6.59%
6.39%
$598
The LGIA MySuper Lifecycle option aims for higher returns while you’re under 75.
LGIA is a medium-sized, member-owned super fund open to all Australians.
-0.22%
4.86%
5.43%
$603
The LifetimeOne investment option is a MySuper product that changes your investment mix as you get older.
A Catholic super fund open to all Australians and designed for people working in Catholic education, healthcare or aged care.
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
$291.50
The Balanced Essentials fund invests in a range of shares, residential property and other assets and has a medium level of risk.
Superestate focuses on investing your super in physical residential properties and charges some of the lowest annual fees in the market.
1.14%
6.95%
6.73%
$549.42
This MySuper product will invest your super in a pre-mixed Growth fund until you’re 60, then it’ll switch to Balanced.
First State Super is a not-for-profit super fund with more than 750,000 members around Australia.
2.54%
7.21%
7.19%
$548.53
The Core Pool invests in a mix of asset classes and is an authorised MySuper product.
HESTA is an industry super fund open to all Australians and designed for employees in the health and community services sector.
-2.16%
5.03%
5.41%
$643
The MySuper Lifestage fund invests your super in a mix of asset classes depending on how old you are.
Westpac Group customers can manage their super alongside their day-to-day bank accounts.
1.84%
7.78%
7.87%
$565
The Growth fund is a pre-mixed investment portfolio and an approved MySuper product.
Cbus is a leading industry super fund for the building and construction industry, that’s open to all Australians.
1.73%
6.45%
7.24%
$682.65
The MySuper Balanced Growth option is a ready-made, diversified fund with a medium level of risk.
BUSSQ is an industry fund designed for the building and construction industry and open for all Australians.
-1.04%
4%
5.27%
$581.80
The Lifestage Fund readjusts your investment mix every few years to reduce your level of risk as you get older.
A retail super fund that offers access to personalised financial planning and advice.
2.17%
8.44%
8.32%
$621.76
The Balanced fund invests your super in a range of assets and is designed for high long-term growth.
An industry super fund open to all Australians with a focus on the hospitality and retail sector.
0.99%
6.43%
7.56%
$529.76
The Balanced option is a MySuper product that invests in a range of asset classes aiming for medium to high long-term returns.
MTAA is a national super fund available to all Australians with a focus on the motor trades and automotive sector.
N/A
N/A
N/A
$728
The Growth option is a diversified portfolio that aims for high growth over the medium to long term.
MLC is a large retail fund open to all Australians. MLC is the wealth management arm of National Australia Bank.
0.63%
6.23%
6.24%
$497.60
The Core Strategy is a diversified investment portfolio that balances risk and return, and is an authorised MySuper product.
REST is an industry super fund tailored towards the retail sector and open to all Australians with almost two million members.
0.88%
6.56%
7.45%
$361
The Balanced option is a MySuper product that invests in a mix of growth and defensive assets.
A flexible industry super fund for people who work in Australia’s higher education and research sector.

Compare up to 4 providers

*Past performance data is for the period ending December 2018.

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, such as:

  • 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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