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How do I get back my lost super?

Justin

When was the last time you asked yourself: “Now, where did I put my superannuation?” According to the statistics, it’s a question more Australians should be putting to themselves.

In 2012, former Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten put the amount of lost super out there at $17.7 billion. This could potentially mean hundreds, even thousands of dollars of an individual Australian’s hard-earned money sitting around unused.

If you’re wondering how you can get your hands back on it, here’s a short guide explaining how.

Finding your lost super

At this stage, you might not be sure if you have any super missing or not. That’s fair enough. Finding out if you have lost super, and exactly how much, is relatively easily done.

The simplest way is to use the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) online SuperSeeker tool. You’ll need to provide your full name, tax file number and date of birth to use it.

Alternatively, you can create a myGov account and link it to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Here you can check all of your super accounts, find super that’s lost and held by the ATO and even transfer super between funds.

You can also fill out the “Searching for lost super” form, available from the ATO website, and send it to the address provided by the ATO.

Finally, you can contact the various state and territory bodies that deal with superannuation and see if they can give you information. If it’s retirement in Bowen, Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Proserpine and other areas of the Whitsunday Shire you’re doing this for, this will be the Public Trustee of Queensland.

Getting the money

As previously mentioned, if you use myGov, you will likely be able to simply transfer your lost super into your current fund. Otherwise, you’ll need to fill out the ATO’s “Application for payment of unclaimed super money – individual” form, also available online. This will involve filling out the usual personal details and providing the typically requested documents, as well as divulging why you’re applying, and providing your previous employers’ and super funds’ details.

Once you’ve lodged the application, and the ATO has reviewed it and is satisfied with it, one of two things will happen:

  • Your lost super will be transferred to another super fund, usually your current one
  • Your lost super will be paid directly to you, a less common outcome

With your missing super back in your hands, you’ll be better placed for retirement, wherever that may end up being.

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