Australians still have a giant $14.8 billion in lost super, and despite this amount falling by 12 per cent in the past two years there’s still a long way to go.
New data from Westpac has found since they launched their SuperCheck online service to reunite customers with their missing superannuation savings, more than 14,000 people have been returned more than $247 million of their retirement money.
This is an average of about $1700 per person.
Westpac’s general manager of superannuation, Melinda Howes, said it was great to see more Australians taking action and getting back in control of their own superannuation savings.
“We have a new SuperCheck service where people can now find all of their super not just their lost super,’’ she said.
“There’s some super out there that people may not see as lost but they didn’t remember they had it.
“People are still living in the past thinking consolidating super is a paper-based process and that has changed, so now in less than a minute you can find all of your super, consolidate it and bring it together.”
Lost or inactive super account balances under $6000 must be transferred to the ATO until they are claimed back by its rightful owner.
An account is deemed “lost” when it has been inactive for 12 months and there is no possibility the super fund can pay the lost member their funds.
Unclaimed super is usually money for a person who has reached retirement eligibility age and has money owing to them.
Ms Howes said the most common reasons behind people losing super included starting a new job, moving address or changing their name.
Cleaner Rosemary Cooke, 42, discovered multiple super accounts of her own that she was unaware of — she rounded up $4000 in missing super and tipped it all into her main super account.
“It was just one click and it transferred everything over, money was in my account within days,’’ she said.
The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees’ chief executive officer Eva Scheerlinck urged everyone to check to see if they had missing super.
“Every dollar counts in superannuation so finding even small amounts of lost super sooner rather than later in life can make a big difference to your balance come retirement time,’’ she said.
“Consolidating super accounts used to involve lengthy paperwork, but today the ATO can send requests direct to the super fund that it most cases can process it within three working days from receiving it.”
HOW TO CLAIM BACK SUPER
* Contact Roxburgh Securities on (08) 9379 3555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Original article here
news.com JUNE 30, 2017