Find My Super:
How to Find Your Super Before It’s Too Late
The idea of uncertainty is indeed a scary thought for many people. Hence, most of them turn to retirement funds and investments to secure their future. In Australia, this is commonly known as the superannuation, or a super, which is a retirement fund that works similarly to a 401K and Social Security in the US.
The problem is, some people lose their supers due to various reasons. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) reports that there is actually $18 billion worth of unclaimed or lost supers as of June 2017. If you are wondering whether a part of this amount could be yours, it’s probably best if you take the steps to find your super as soon as possible.
Why Do Supers Get Lost?
People generally lose sight of their supers when they change jobs. When they get into a new job, they might ask their current employer to place their contributions in an entirely new fund. Hence, the old fund––and whatever it accumulated––may be forgotten. This is usually how people end up with multiple super accounts.
This also happens when people change their contact numbers and addresses, and forget to update their contact details with their providers. When you become uncontactable, then you’re more likely to end up with a lost super.
Lost Super vs. Unclaimed Super
While a lost super and an unclaimed super may seem like the same concept, there are actually some notable differences between the two. For instance, a super is usually considered lost if the owner is unreachable as a result of changing contact details. That is also the case when the account hasn’t received any contributions or has had no rollovers in the past 12 months, or the account has been inactive for the past 5 years.
A super will also be tagged as a lost member account when the fund lacks details and verifiable information to validate who the owner really is. In this case, the account’s contributions will be transferred to the ATO.
An unclaimed super, on the other hand, is a super fund that is eligible for withdrawal. The problem is, the provider hasn’t been able to get in touch with the owner. This usually happens to fund members who are older than 65 years old, deceased, non-member spouses, and former temporary residents of Australia.
Unclaimed supers are usually reported by super funds to the ATO twice yearly. All unclaimed money from supers are then held by the ATO.
Finding Your Super
Now that it has been explained what lost and unclaimed supers are, and how they get lost sometimes, some may be wondering, “How exactly do I find my super?”
The first step that people usually take is to go to the ATO’s official website and check where their super is via the myGov platform. They will then have to input their member number and their Tax File Number (TFN) to find any lost super funds.
The problem is, most of the time, finding a super is not as easy as it sounds. Most Australians own at least 4 super fund accounts, and each of those are incurring fees as they remain lost.
When all super funds are consolidated into one main account, people will end up paying way less fees as well as insurance premiums. Ultimately, this will help them save more for their retirement in the future.
Free Super Search
To begin the search for a lost super, users must fill out a form on a super finder website. The form asks for a person’s complete name, phone number, email address, birthdate, address, and Tax File Number. This short film shows exactly how this is done...
Users will then need to tick a box that says they agree to the terms and conditions, as well as the privacy consent. Afterwards, all the legwork will be done for them.
Why Should People Look for Their Super Now?
No one wants the money they worked so hard for to be all for naught. Lost or unclaimed supers will generally incur additional charges and fees, and insurance premiums are lost when funds get held by the ATO. Worse, all retirement savings could be lost if supers are not found before it’s too late. Thus, this will leave the fund owner with nothing to give to their beneficiaries.
When a person finds all their supers and merge them into a single account, it significantly lessens their paperwork and makes it more convenient to monitor their funds.
A superannuation account contains everything a person has worked for towards retirement. Thus, it is important that they always have access to their accounts and they are aware of how much funds they have in their account. This is to ensure that none of it will go to waste.