Data released by the ATO last week found there is over $20.8 billion in lost and unclaimed super across Australia.
“Often people lose touch with their fund by simply changing jobs or moving home,” assistant commissioner Graham Whyte said.
“It’s important to know that this doesn’t mean it’s lost forever; getting back in touch is easier than you think.”
The research highlighted the top 10 postcodes reporting the highest number of lost and unclaimed super account values.
As of 30 June 2019, Liverpool and surrounding areas was the suburb seeing the most lag, with $81,085,282 of lost and unclaimed super being identified by the ATO.
This was followed by Werribee and surrounding areas with $72,114,112; Campbelltown and surrounding areas with $63,231,975; Westmead and surrounding areas with $60,764,352; Cranbourne and surrounding areas with $58,918,901; and Hopper Crossing and surrounding areas with $57,248,692.
Rounding out the top 10 was Bondi and surrounding areas with $56,000,248; Sydney CBD with $55,984,758; Surry Hills and Darlinghurst with $55,732,148; and Blacktown and surrounding areas with $52,838,249.
Mr Whyte said new legislation will mean for the first time the ATO can start reuniting Australians with their super without them having to take action. The new law also requires super funds to report and pay “inactive, low-balance accounts”.
Over the 2018 calendar year, over 540,000 active, lost and unclaimed super accounts worth more than $4.4 billion was consolidated using ATO online via myGov, according to Mr Whyte.
“In total, we’ve received over 2.3 million inactive low-balance accounts from super funds, valued at approximately $2.16 billion,” he said.
“We are now working to reunite Australians with these amounts by either transferring it into an active super account or directly into their bank account where the amount is less than $200 or the member is aged over 65 years.
“So far, we have reunited just over 841,000 accounts worth nearly $1.38 billion. This includes approximately 684,000 accounts worth $1.22 billion that have been transferred into an individual’s active super account and approximately 157,000 accounts worth $161 million directly to individuals’ bank accounts. We will be continuing this work throughout November and into the future. We will let you know after we have reunited you with your super.
“We expect more than 1 million people will receive a direct payment.”
Mr Whyte advised anyone who thinks they may get a direct payment to be diligent in making sure their bank account details are up to date by logging into ATO online via myGov.
“Even if you won’t be eligible for a direct payment, it’s important to do your future a favour by engaging with your super now,” he said.
“While it’s great that this new legislation means we can now proactively reunite Australians with their super, there are instances where we cannot reconnect you with your super.
“That’s why I recommend using ATO online to check that you aren’t missing out on any lost or unclaimed super that’s being held by us or your super fund.”