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ATO Publishes Figures On 'Lost' Super

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

22 September 2017

The Australian Taxation Office has said that there are over 6.3 million lost and ATO-held superannuation accounts, with a total value of almost AUD18bn (USD14.3bn).

The ATO has released its latest figures on lost and unclaimed superannuation accounts, which are correct as at June 30, 2017.

According to the ATO, superannuation funds are holding AUD14.12bn of lost super, while the ATO holds a further AUD3.75bn of unclaimed super.

The term "lost superannuation accounts" is used to refer to accounts held by super funds where they have lost contact with the fund member. By law, where the fund is unable to contact the member or the account has not received contributions for five years, lost accounts and balances are then transferred to the ATO and considered to be "unclaimed super" held by the ATO.

The ATO said that people can lose contact with their super funds when they change jobs, move house, or fail to update their details with their fund. They may also lose track of their super from accounts established earlier in their career. The ATO noted that although the number of people with multiple accounts has been falling, there are still almost 2.3 million Australians with three or more super accounts.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Debbie Rawlings advised that the easiest way for people to keep track of their super is to use ATO online services through the myGov platform. She explained: "By using myGov to track down your super, the money will be transferred to your preferred fund, generally within three working days."

She added: "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 have been lost or forgotten, and you can choose to claim or transfer your super online."

TAGS: individuals | tax | pensions | revenue guidance | law | employees | Australia | tax authority | services

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