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Almost $18 billion worth of superannuation is still waiting to be claimed in Australia, with the ATO revealing the top ten postcodes for unclaimed super.

According to the ATO, as at 30 June 2017, there were over 6.3 million lost and ATO-held super accounts with a total value of $17.87 billion. Super funds are holding $14.12 billion in lost super, while the ATO is sitting on $3.75 billion in unclaimed super.

Lost superannuation accounts are accounts held by super funds in circumstances where they have lost contact with the fund member. Once a lost superannuation account has not received contributions for five years, it is transferred to the ATO to protect super funds from ongoing fees.

ATO assistant commissioner, Debbie Rawlings, said people can use ATO online services, via myGov, to keep track of their super, find lost or unclaimed super, or combine their accounts.

“Over the past four financial years we’ve reunited 1.68 million accounts worth $8.12 billion with the account owner, and there’s plenty more to be found,” she said.

“By using myGov to track down your super, the money will be transferred to your preferred fund, generally within three working days

“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.

“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. Alternatively, you can call the ATO Super Helpline on 13 10 20 to request direct claim or transfer paper forms, or speak to your super fund.

“People can lose contact with their super funds when they change jobs, move house, or haven’t updated their details with their super fund. They may also lose track of their super from accounts established earlier in their career. While the number of people with multiple accounts has been falling, there are still almost 2.3 million Australians with three or more super accounts.

“You might choose to keep multiple accounts, but if you consolidate your multiple super accounts into the one you prefer, you’ll avoid paying multiple sets of fees and charges. If you’re not sure whether to consolidate your accounts, check with your super fund who can advise you on issues such as insurance that may be attached to your accounts.”

Although Mackay (4740) and Cairns (4870) in North Queensland topped the list of postcodes with the most unclaimed or lost super, NSW led the way on a state basis.  Meanwhile, over half of the lost super held by super funds, $7.6 billion, belongs to people aged 40 to 55.

The top ten postcodes for unclaimed super held by super funds and the ATO are:

  • Mackay & surrounding areas (4740): $62,200,085.81
  • Cairns & surrounding areas (4870): $61,443,957.97
  • Liverpool & surrounding suburbs (2170): $59,059,569.98
  • Toowoomba & surrounding areas (4350): $56,643, 720.93
  • Werribee & surrounding suburbs (3030): $56,218,218.03
  • Campbelltown & surrounding suburbs (2560): $51,076,992.89
  • Mandurah & surrounding suburbs (6210): $47,596,304.32
  • Surry Hills & Darlinghurst (2010): $45,072,338.52
  • Bondi & surrounding suburbs (2026): $44,442,083.51
  • Cranbourne & surrounding suburbs: $44,419,072.78

Further information: ato.gov.au/checkyoursuper

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James Harkness

James Harkness

James Harnkess previous editor at Dynamic Business

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