It’s not uncommon for people to open a new super account each time they start a new job. However, considering the average Australian school leaver today is expected to work for as many as 17 different employers throughout their lifetime, these different accounts can quickly get lost or forgotten about. 

It’s important to know the difference between unclaimed super and lost super. ‘Unclaimed super’ refers to super that is eligible to be withdrawn from your super fund but the fund has been unable to contact you.

Unclaimed super can include the super of:

  • fund members aged over 65
  • non-member spouses
  • deceased members
  • former temporary residents
  • fund members with small or insoluble lost member accounts.

People might also have lost track of their super accounts. For example, they may not have updated their contact details with their funds when they moved to a new house or changed their name.

Typically, unclaimed super has to be reported to the ATO by super funds twice a year, and any unclaimed super money is paid to the ATO. Some state and territory public service super schemes may have to pay any unclaimed superannuation money to their State or Territory Government, but still report the money as unclaimed to the ATO. The ATO then adds this data to its Superannuation Unclaimed Money Register. See myGov website for more information.

Unclaimed and lost super is still considered to be owned by the original contributor, and it may be easier than you think to claim it.

Generally speaking, there are five steps that may help you find and consolidate your lost or unclaimed superannuation: 

  1. Set up a myGov account
  2. Provide your details including name, date of birth and tax file number
  3. Link your myGov account to ATO online services to view your super details
  4. Call the ATO on 13 28 65 if you have further questions
  5. Consolidate your super into one main super account.

For help finding your lost super, contact the Superannuation Advice Australia team. We’ll help consolidate existing accounts and can set you up with a financial plan for a better retirement.