Have you lost your super? Here’s how to get it back
If you move houses and haven’t updated your address it is likely that somewhere along the line you may have lost some super.
What does it mean when they say ‘lost super’?
When a superannuation fund lays dormant for a period of time (usually 2 years), or the balance falls below the minimum (currently $1,500), the superannuation fund is required to transfer the remaining funds to the ATO as lost super. This ensures that the remaining money doesn’t get eaten away in potential fees that you may be paying.
The good news is, not all is lost forever. There are some tools available to you to locate your lost super and get it back where it belongs….in your current super fund adding to your retirement balance.
- The first port of call is the ATO super seeker website. All you need is your full name, date of birth and tax file number to do an immediate quick search online. See the link below. You can log on, enter your details and receive immediate results. If anything comes up in the search it is then an easy process to get that back. I’ll tell you how in a sec! http://www.ato.gov.au/Calculators-and-tools/SuperSeeker/
- If the quick search comes up with nothing then you should complete the full search through the same website. In order to do this however you will need to‘register for a secure login’. You will need a few extra details regarding your current super fund and your bank account. This search will display your current super fund as well as other super funds you have that are not yet deemed lost and any lost super funds you have.
These are the two most common ways to find the super that you believe that you have lost. If you are still having trouble there are other ways you can go about finding your super, but that is for another day. If you are having trouble, feel free to send me an email and I’ll point you in the right direction.
Once you uncover your lost super funds you can complete a form to get it back. If you have other super funds that aren’t yet lost, but just sitting there wasting away, you can use the same form to rollover all of your accounts into the 1 fund.
You need to complete the form at the link below, and send it to your superannuation fund with a photo copy ID (either a drivers license or passport will do) that has been certified.
Lawyers, some financial professionals and JPs can certify these for you.
Remember, for every super fund form you are sending you need a certified ID. So if you have 5 super funds, you need 5 forms, so you will need 5 certified IDs.
When you go to this page, you need the following form: ‘Rollover initiation request to transfer whole balance of superannuation benefits between funds’.
Because this is an ATO form, every super fund must accept it.
Potential issues that you may run into
One of the main complaints that I have is that clients have previously tried to get their super together and the super funds won’t release the money. It’s frustrating I know, so here are a few of the hicups people have, and ways to get around them.
Wrong address: If they have an incorrect address for you on file, they may withhold the money. I find it good practice to also send a change of address notification with your rollover request if this is you. The specific super fund will usually have a form online that you can download and use to update details. The same could be said if they have a different phone number or email address.
Wrong name: For women especially it can usually become difficult if you have changed your name. When you send the rollover form, include a certified copy of your marriage certificate with a signed note saying that you have changed your name. On the note ensure that you sign it with your maiden name signature as well as your married name signature. They will want to marry up the old and new signatures to authorise the transfer.
If you follow the above steps you should be on your way to 1 super fund (imagine that!).
If you have any troubles along the way, feel free to comment below or send me an email, I’ll happily point you in the right direction.
– This post is from our resident senior financial planner, Cara Brett. Check out her details in our about us page.