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Claim your share of $13b lost super

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There is around $13 billion out there in unclaimed superannuation and some of it could be yours.

Losing track of some of your super is surprisingly easy – it may happen when you change jobs, have more than one job at a time, change names or simply forget how many super accounts you have.

The Australian Tax Office makes a distinction between "lost" and "unclaimed" super. You may lose some of your super if you change your name, address or job. A super fund is considered "lost" if your account is inactive for five years, if the balance drops below $200 or if your super fund can't find you.

Unclaimed super, on the other hand, is money belonging to a member who is over retirement age but has not been claimed and the super fund cannot contact them.

Thankfully, tracking down and laying claim to your lost super isn't as hard as you might think. In the case of lost super, your name would have been reported by your super fund to the ATO, and listed on the lost members register (LMR). A member is recorded as "lost" when their account has been inactive for two or more years and at least two letters addressed to that member are returned undelivered. You can search for your lost super online using the ATO's SuperSeeker tool or by calling 13 28 65.

If you have reached retirement age and your super remains unclaimed, your name would be listed on the ATO's unclaimed super money register, and can also be tracked down on the SuperSeeker website.

If the amount in your lost super account is less than $200, you can withdraw it without paying any cash. A good idea may be to put that amount into a savings account and add to it over time for extra income stream.

Under new legislation introduced into the House of Representatives, you can now transfer any lost superannuation electronically, without having to fill out numerous paper forms. This can save you time and effort, so claiming your share of lost super has never been easier.

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