The Productivity Commission has released a report highlighting the problem of Australian workers having multiple super accounts.
It estimates that the cost to members of unintended multiple accounts is $2.6 billion per year.
The commission estimates that holding one additional account over a working life could cost $51,000 at retirement.
Often this occurs because a new super account is opened when we change jobs. It can also occur if we change our name or address and fail to notify our super fund. Or if we receive a portion of a former spouse’s super following a divorce settlement.
As a result, money is wasted on duplicate fees and insurance costs, and less money is accumulated for retirement.
Many people don’t realise they have these inactive super accounts.
In the federal budget last month, the government announced proposals to transfer to the Australian Taxation Office all super accounts with a balance below $6000 that have not received a contribution for 13 months. The ATO will then use data matching to consolidate these accounts with members’ active accounts.
This is scheduled for 2019. But why wait until then to get your super in order? Why pay unnecessary fees and insurance costs for another year?
You can find your lost super yourself and start growing your retirement balance today.
Four easy ways to find and consolidate your super
Over the past few years, super funds and the government have worked to establish simple ways to consolidate all your super into one account. Gone are the days of lengthy forms and certified copies of passports and driver’s licences. Today, members can consolidate all their accounts with just a few clicks.
1. Search the ATO
Sign up for myGov and link your myGov account to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) service. You’ll be able to see details of your super accounts held by most super funds in Australia. You can also consolidate your accounts and claim any lost super that may have already been sent to the ATO.
You can find out more by clicking here
2. Talk to your main super fund
Many super funds offer a SuperMatch service to help their members find their other super accounts. SuperMatch searches the ATO database to find your accounts for you, and automatically claims any super held at the ATO.
You will need to provide your fund with your Tax File Number and your permission to search for your super on your behalf. Your fund will let you know the results of the search so you can choose whether to transfer other super accounts into your main account.
Or, if you already know about your other accounts, your main fund can help you consolidate these. Check your fund’s website or call them to ask how they can help.
3. Claim directly from your old fund
You can apply directly to your old fund to transfer your super and close your old account by sending them a request to transfer (or rollover) benefits to another super fund.
Check the fund’s website or call them to ask how they can help.
4. Find super held in AUSfund
AUSfund is a special type of superannuation fund known as an Eligible Rollover Fund (ERF). More than 35 super funds transfer their members’ inactive and unclaimed accounts to AUSfund. Its purpose is to look after money transferred from these super funds and use data matching to reunite balances back to members’ active accounts.
While your super is with AUSfund, your money is invested with the aim of delivering a competitive return. Fees are low and, unlike most super funds, no insurance is offered (saving you an unnecessary cost).
Click here to search AUSfund for your lost or inactive super.
The information in this article is general information only and does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. Before deciding whether to move or rollover your super, you should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statements and consider whether you should speak to a financial planner. Remember also to check with your superannuation provider about any fees and charges, or loss of insurance or benefits that may apply before transferring your accounts.