Have you checked the online data bases recently for any lost money or forgotten superannuation you might have?
If no, why not?
An organisation (Government) is holding your money for you and no doubt reaping some reward from it. Search now for yours and in some cases, family members too. Search on behalf of anyone who doesn’t have easy access to search online, especially elderly family members. Help get it back for them too!
SEARCH FOR LOST SUPER
More than 1/3 of Australians hold 3 or more super funds but most people are only contributing to one of these funds at a time. Find all of your open accounts/funds and consolidate them into your current fund and you’ll know exactly how much you have in total towards your retirement.
It’s harder to keep track of more than one fund at a time and the more you have as you move through your working life, the easier it will be to lose track of them. You also may as well be earning interest on one larger balance than a few smaller amounts, and don’t even start me on the fees and insurance policies you might be paying on multiple funds lurking out there. (That’s a topic for another future article)
Some people are aware and willing to pay fees on multiple super funds but if your super is precious to you (and it should be as it will fund your life in the future) I recommend having just one easy to manage super fund.
I checked on the ATO website to find how much lost super the residents of my small rural town had lost track of. I discovered there is $1,644,489.00 in lost or unclaimed superannuation in my town of approx 2,500 people. The grand total for all unclaimed super in Australia is $17.5 billion.
Don’t leave it until retirement, or even worse, your death to find all of your lost super to leave for family members to chase up. Claim it now to benefit yourself in retirement.
Find and consolidate all of your lost super into your current fund and do this each time you change funds due to changing employers. It’s your money, don’t lose track of it or leave it sitting elsewhere earning interest for others when you can claim it back.
Have you checked to see if you have any super you can claim? It’s easy.
If you’ve got a MyGov account, which most of us should have by now, you’re able to go through the MyGov app to get to the ATO where you can see any accounts in your name and you’ll be able to consolidate all funds, lost and current, into one account. Organised!!
FIND ANY LOST MONEY
There’s also lost money needing to go back to it’s rightful owner.
Sometimes we forget about bank accounts or other institutions holding our money. Did you know, all bank accounts that have been inactive (no deposits or withdrawals) for seven years will be deemed unclaimed. This money is then received by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) and transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund. Here it will be kept until the owner claims their money.
This is unfortunate for people wanting to leave an account untouched for the long term future, quietly earning an amount of compounding interest. This is especially the case for elderly people who may be holding family money to hand down in their Last Will and Testament.
Check this list to find your State Revenue Office website to find any lost and unclaimed money you’ve forgotten about. You can also search other family members. Search for them and who knows, you might have a great find to share the news with it’s rightful owner. They’ll be glad you discovered it for them.
All money, depending on the institute that holds your money, will only be claimable for a certain amount of time before it will be used by the Government as Consolidated Government Revenue. It’s basically waiting at the revenue office and if not claimed by you, is used as Government funds to put back into the country's spending pool.
Remember, it’s your responsibility to keep track of all funds and money that belongs to you. Be engaged with all of your worth for your whole life, not in a panic when you finally need to. You’ll thank yourself when everything is where you know and need it to be to easily keep track of and retire with your money in years to come.