YOUR lost retirement savings may be headed for the Australian Taxation Office without you even realising.
From December 31, the account limit at which lost superannuation is now transferred from a super fund to the ATO rose from $2000 to $4000.
This means any lost account with $4000 or less will be put in the hands of the ATO and its estimated more than 130,000 accounts will be affected.
Lost super is the retirement savings held in funds because there is no up-to-date information available to contact the relevant member.
It is also lost if the fund has not received a contribution or rollover for the member within the past five years.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s chief executive officer Pauline Vamos says it’s something Australians should be checking and it is a simple process to claw it back.
“The first thing you need to do is to make sure your fund knows your current contact details and make sure you update your mobile and mailing and email addresses,’’ she says.
“Another good solution is to consolidate your superannuation accounts.”
Australians can visit the MyGov website, enter their details and view all their super accounts.
From here they can consolidate any lingering accounts if they have them into their main super account.
Vamos also says many funds will help you consolidate your accounts if you ask them for help.
AustralianSuper’s group executive of membership Paul Schroder says $4000 is “too much money to lose in anyone’s eyes.”
“If you have $4000 in your wallet you wouldn’t just give it to the government and if your car was worth $4000 in the driveway you wouldn’t let the government drive away with it,’’ he says.
“The fact people have lost $4000 is a new year’s alert for people to ask themselves how do they think they are rich enough to lose $4000.”
Schroder says many of the fund’s members go online to try and retrieve their lost super money ahead of phoning up their fund and asking for help.
He warns if lost super is held by the ATO it only earns interest a rate of inflation — is it 1.5 per cent — instead of an average 10-year return on a fund which is seven per cent.
Source: News Corp Australia Network, Jan 19th, 2016
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