Billions of dollars in superannuation are going unclaimed by their rightful owners, and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has released which postcodes are missing out on the most money for retirement.
According to the ATO, as of 30 June 2017, there are over 6.3 million lost and ATO-held super accounts in Australia, with a total value of almost $18 billion.
Approximately $14.12 billion of this lost super is being held by super funds, with a further $3.75 billion of unclaimed super being held by the ATO. According to the ATO, over half the amount of lost super held by super funds, $7.6 billion, belongs to people aged 40-55.
Superannuation accounts are considered to be “lost” when the super fund loses contact with the fund member. Once a super account has received no contributions for five years, it is transferred to the ATO, to prevent the fund holder from being charged further ongoing fees.
According to the ATO, Mackay and Cairns are the two postcodes with the most lost super in Australia. On a state by state basis, New South Wales has the most missing super.
|Postcode||Suburb||Total accounts (Fund & ATO-held)||Total value (Fund & ATO-held)|
|2010||Surry Hills & Darlinghurst, NSW||9742||$45,072,338.52|
Many Australians lose track of their super funds when they move house and fail to update their contact details with their fund provider. Many Aussies also open new super accounts each time they change jobs, and end up paying multiple sets of fees and charges. According to the ATO, while the number of people with multiple accounts has been falling as more and more Australians consolidate their super, there are still almost 2.3 million Australians with three or more super accounts.
ATO assistant commissioner, Debbie Rawlings, said that over the past four financial years, the tax office has reunited 1.68 million super accounts worth $8.12 billion with their account owners, though there’s plenty more to be found.
“More people are finding their lost and unclaimed super through our online services every year, but these figures show there are many people who still may not realise how quickly and easily they can check their super accounts.”