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How to find lost super

You could have thousands of dollars in lost or unclaimed 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.

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.

Previously, some super funds rolled over unclaimed super into a special fund called AUSfund. However, on 21 May 2021 AUSfund was closed, and the Federal Government assumed sole responsibility for managing unclaimed super accounts via the ATO.

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 5 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 16 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 5 years and which do not have enough records to ever be able to identify the account owner

How much lost and unclaimed super is out there?

According to the ATO, as at June 2020, there was $13.8 billion in lost or unclaimed super logged with the tax office. It's relatively easy to get that money back, if yours is in the mix; in fact, between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019, more than 537,000 accounts worth a combined $4.38 billion were consolidated or transferred by fund members using myGov.

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.
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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.

1 - 16 of 36
Name Product Last 1 year performance (p.a.) Last 3 year performance (p.a.) Last 5 year performance (p.a.) Last 10 year performance (p.a.) Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)

Virgin Money Super - LifeStage Tracker

Virgin Money Super - LifeStage Tracker
+17.29%
+13.78%
+10.07%
New Fund
$392
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver higher returns over the long term.

Virgin Money Super LifeStage Tracker is a lifestage super product, so your mix of investments will be continually readjusted in line with your age. This means you'll be invested in more growth assets while you're young.

Australian Retirement Trust (formerly Sunsuper for Life) - Lifecycle Balanced Pool

Finder Award
Australian Retirement Trust (formerly Sunsuper for Life) -  Lifecycle Balanced Pool
+16.31%
+11.45%
+9.58%
+10.14%
$628
Sunsuper and QSuper have merged to create Australian Retirement Trust, one of Australia's largest super funds with more than 2 million members. Its Lifecycle Balanced product invests your super in a mix of growth assets, and reduces your risk when you're near retirement.

AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option

Finder Award
AustralianSuper - Pre-mixed, Balanced option
+15.02%
+12.42%
+10.31%
+10.66%
$472
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.

Spaceship GrowthX

Spaceship GrowthX
+12.31%
+19.14%
New Fund
New Fund
$536
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver higher returns over the long term.
Spaceship's GrowthX fund invests heavily in technology ETFs with high exposures to Australian and international shares. Performance figures and fees supplied by Spaceship, not Chant West.

Australian Ethical Super Balanced

Green Company
Australian Ethical Super Balanced
+13.19%
+12.82%
+9.71%
+9.78%
$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.

QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1

QSuper Lifetime - Aspire 1
+12.67%
+10.33%
+9.03%
New Fund
$360
QSuper is part of Australian Retirement Trust. QSuper Lifetime automatically adjusts your investment mix in line with your age and your Lifetime account balance. Eligibility criteria and conditions apply to open a QSuper account (refer to 'More Info').

Aware Super High Growth

Aware Super High Growth
+18.15%
+14.45%
+11.63%
+11.83%
$694
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver higher returns over the long term.
If you join Aware Super's default MySuper Lifecycle option your super will be invested in the High Growth option while you're under 55, giving more exposure to local and international shares.

Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow

Australian Catholic Super Lifetime - Grow
+13.2%
+10.02%
New Fund
New Fund
$488
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.

AustralianSuper - Socially Aware

AustralianSuper - Socially Aware
+14.97%
+10.9%
+9.05%
+10.1%
$501
The AustralianSuper Socially Aware option doesn't invest in Australian or international companies that directly own coal and fossil fuel reserves, produce tobacco or those which have single-gender boards.

Bendigo SmartStart Super - Growth Index

Bendigo SmartStart Super - Growth Index
+14.46%
+12.38%
+9.08%
+10.4%
$338
Bendigo SmartStart is a retail super fund. The Growth Index Fund is the default MySuper option for members under 55.

Kogan Super - Enhanced Indexed Growth

Kogan Super - Enhanced Indexed Growth
+14.81%
New Fund
New Fund
New Fund
$332
Kogan Super offers low-fee, high-performing indexed investment options that are managed by Mercer, Australia's largest super administrator. The Enhanced Indexed Growth product invests around two thirds of your balance into Australian and global shares.

Australian Catholic Super Bonds

Australian Catholic Super Bonds
-1.66%
+3.98%
+3.87%
+3.83%
$278

Australian Catholic Super Conservative

Australian Catholic Super Conservative
+6.86%
+6.56%
+5.55%
+6.17%
$463

Australian Catholic Super Conservative Balanced

Australian Catholic Super Conservative Balanced
+10.43%
+8.31%
+6.77%
+7.47%
$478

Australian Catholic Super Growth

Australian Catholic Super Growth
+15.54%
+11.3%
New Fund
New Fund
$488
This is a high-risk investment option that aims to deliver higher returns over the long term.

Australian Ethical Super Australian Shares

Green Company
Australian Ethical Super Australian Shares
+14.35%
+20.21%
+13.81%
+15.36%
$842
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Compare up to 4 providers

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 and fee data is for the period ending December 2021.

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.

      I would highly recommend you read more about how to find unclaimed or lost super money. Read through that page and discover how to locate your lost super money.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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