Ato reveals top postcodes for lost super

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AUSSIES are missing out on nearly $12 billion of their own “lost” money. The good news? Getting it back is as easy as clicking a button.

The Australian Taxation Office has released its latest data on lost and unclaimed super, revealing a whopping $11.7 billion sitting in lost superannuation accounts.

A superannuation account is considered lost when the fund is unable to contact the individual and hasnt received a contribution to an account for five years.

The average lost super account has around $10,000 sitting in it, but balances vary from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand dollars. You might be surprised, ATO deputy commissioner James OHalloran said.

A lot of people who worked casually while they were studying or worked multiple part-time jobs find super they had completely forgotten about.

While some people purposefully maintain a number of accounts, a lot of Australians are unaware their hard earned super is unnecessarily being eroded away by fees.

Earlier this year, the Westpac Lost Super report found nearly three quarters of the population said they wished they had looked after their super better when they were younger.

For someone aged between 19 and 24, every $1 they recover in lost super today equates to $10 in retirement, the report found.

One individual received a whopping $994,000 in lost super back from the tax office last October, and just last month a 50-year-old recovered $140,000.

Last month, 24-year-old Natalie Piucco clawed back more than $6000 in lost super hovering in three accounts after doing a search online.

During university I had at least two jobs at the same time so I consolidated all my super from casual jobs,’ she told NewsCorp.

I didnt know until I looked into it online how much lost super was there and I just moved it all across into my main account.

People typically lost contact with their super funds when they change jobs, move house, or forget to update their details, Mr OHalloran said.

We know that when it comes to big life events, updating your details with your super fund is one of the last things on your mind. One thing you can do is make sure your super fund has your tax file number. It helps us reunite you with your super down the track, he said.

You might choose to keep multiple accounts, but to save on fees and charges consider consolidating your multiple super accounts online into the one you prefer.

All small lost super accounts with balances of $4000 or less are transferred to the ATO and become unclaimed super, which can be reclaimed by the owner at any time.

The tax office has made it easier for workers to view and consolidate their super accounts through the MyGov service with the click of a button, where in the past it would require the member to fill out complicated forms.

Unlike missing car keys, lost super isnt hard to find, Mr OHalloran said. Over the past couple of years, we have made a lot of changes to our online services that make finding and consolidating your super simpler than ever.

Once you have linked your MyGov account to ATO online services, you will be able to view all your super account details, including any that has been lost or forgotten about.

Its a great time for Australians to check up on their super, particularly if they plan on logging in to lodge their own tax return using myTax.

The ATO has revealed which areas have the highest amount of lost super, the Queensland postcode of 4740 covering Mackay and surrounding suburbs topping the list at $49 million.

This figure is just a small slice of the lost super across Australia, Mr OHalloran said.

One of our key goals is to reunite individuals with their super and in the past financial year $2.5 billion has been consolidated into active super accounts, he said.

TOP TEN LOST SUPER POSTCODES

1. $49.3 million (2605 accounts): 4740, Mackay

2. $49.1 million (2903 accounts): 4870, Cairns

3. $45.3 million (2384 accounts): 4350, Toowoomba

4. $37.7 million (2120 accounts): 2120, Liverpool

5. $35.6 million (1742 accounts): 3030, Werribee

6. $35.1 million (1867 accounts): 2000, Sydney CBD

7. $34.7 million (1743 accounts): 2010, Surry Hills

8. $33.7 million (1633 accounts): 4680, Gladstone

9. $33.0 million (1689 accounts): 2026, Bondi

10. $31.3 million (1793 accounts): 2560, Campbelltown

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR LOST SUPER

1. Contact your super fund and ask for help to find lost accounts.

2. Login to MyGov to view lost super. Click on the ATO icon. Go to the Super tab, click on super accounts and see if you need to consolidate.

3. Visit Superseeker online and enter your tax file number, name and date of birth.

4. Phone the ATO on 13 10 20 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.