$50 million in Mackay’s lost money waiting to be claimed
MANY people lose valuable things throughout their life, but a few residents in Mackay have money that is yet to be claimed.
The Australian Taxation Office has declared there is $13.9 billion in lost superannuation across Australia and Mackay residents account for $50,026,281 in lost or unclaimed super.
The ATO said lost super was when member accounts were reported as lost and the holders could not be contacted, or the accounts had not received contributions or rollover in the past five years.
Lost super was also when an account was transferred from another fund as a lost member account and had no address.
“The ATO maintains a register of reported lost members but the super fund still holds your money,” a spokesman said.
Unclaimed super was money held on behalf of members aged 65 and older, had a non-member spouse or were a deceased member.
The ATO said unclaimed money also extended to former temporary residents, amounts less than $6000 for lost members or accounts inactive for five years and did not have enough identity to prove ownership.
Records show there are 2463 accounts in Mackay with a lost super value of $40,827,632 and 8440 active accounts with unclaimed super totalling $9,198,649.
“This reduction is attributed in part to the Protecting Your Super legislative change that allows the ATO to proactively consolidate super into active super funds on an individual’s behalf or pay amounts directly to the bank account of eligible individuals,” the spokesman said.
“So far, this financial year, more than 730,000 unclaimed super money accounts have been transferred to the ATO with a total value in excess of $1 billion and the ATO is working to proactively consolidate to reunite individuals with their super.
“Having several super accounts could mean you‘re paying multiple fees and charges, which may reduce your overall retirement income.”
The spokesman advised people to consider the impacts closing their accounts could have on any insurance they held before consolidating them.
“Super funds are required to transfer lost and unclaimed super to the ATO for a number of reasons, for example, if your super fund has lost contact with you due to change of contact details or if your account has a low balance,” the spokesman said.
“Where eligibility criteria are met, we will proactively reunite unclaimed super money we hold for you into one of your active super accounts.
“For amounts below $200, or clients who are 65 years and over, we will pay directly to your bank account if we have it.”
The spokesman said superannuation funds reported and paid unclaimed super to the ATO twice a year.
The ATO would deposit that money into a person’s active account.
The ATO said the number of lost accounts was found using the member account attribute services.
To see if you have any lost or unclaimed super, visit ato.gov.au.