Recent data released by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) shows that Australia’s pool of unclaimed superannuation has increased from $3.2 billion to $3.75 billion. The total of unclaimed and lost super is close to $18 billion, which is continuing to rise. On 31 December 2016, the ATO increased the threshold at which super funds must transfer inactive accounts. Doing so captured an additional 100,000 accounts into lost super, worth approximately $200 million.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australian (ASFA) is calling for a change to the law. This would allow the ATO to redirect superannuation benefits from inactive accounts straight into members active super accounts.
Once your superannuation has been transferred to the ATO it becomes increasingly difficult to track down the where the funds originated from. This is one major reason why ASFA is pushing to have the law changed to allow the ATO to reunite lost accounts with their true owners; a notion being welcomed by consumers.
“The active repatriation of accounts held by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is consistent with the policy objective of reducing unnecessary accounts within the superannuation system and boosting the retirement savings of Australians,” ASFA Chief Policy Officer Glen McCrea said.
ASFA stated, “One way to greatly improve the system is to have the ATO, which has the details of the active superannuation accounts for most individuals with unclaimed super, to return unclaimed funds currently captured by legislated threshold transfers.”
What do the numbers say?
ASFA has calculated that a person who has a $5,000 account transferred to the ATO results in a loss of $225 a year in earnings. This compared to what they would receive if they were to consolidate these super monies into an active account.
Consolidating your superannuation will allow you to reduce your ongoing fees and ensure your investment objectives are more closely aligned. Should you be unsure whether you have any lost or unclaimed super, contact us on (07) 3284 7875. We can ensure your superannuation benefits are consolidated and working to meet your goals and objectives.
(P) (07) 3284 7875 | (F) (07) 3284 4790