Keeping track of retirement funds would be a super idea

THERE is enough money in "lost" superannuation floating around the Northern Rivers to give every man, woman, and child a half-decent holiday in Bali.

Westpac Bank's Lost Super Report estimates there would be about $176,608,790 of lost super on the Northern Rivers - the equivalent of $2268 for each person living here.

That's a long way above the national average. Across Australia, Westpac estimates there is $18.1 billion in lost super - money that is left in forgotten, inactive, accounts after a person changes jobs or superannuation companies. That sounds a lot until you realise it's the equivalent of only about $890 for each Australian.

Unfortunately Northern Rivers residents won't be getting any big windfalls from the region's lost super. Westpac State General Manager for regional NSW Jason Stephens said it was likely needed in the active super accounts.

"Superannuation is a subject that most people tend to avoid, particularly when it comes to lost super, where Australians seem to be disengaged," Mr Stephens said.

"We all need to rethink our attitude towards super - it is alarming that only 1 in 5 Australians are able to accurately estimate how much they will need to live comfortably in retirement.

"Let's start with a lost super search. If you have multiple accounts, you could consider moving them into just one to make it easier to potentially save thousands of dollars in fees.

"The average amount in a lost super account is $2,592 that would cover return flights for two to Bali. If you wanted to go on a holiday, and had that money in a bank account, you'd book the flights. The same applies to finding your lost super which can take only a few minutes.

"We're all planning to retire, so why don't more of us just spend a few minutes finding the lost super so many of us have? It's real money which will grow and could really make a difference to your future."

Key findings

  • Almost 2 in 5 (38%) of Australians remain unaware whether they have any lost super
  • Almost 1 in 2 (47%) Australians are likely to have lost super
  • Almost 3 in 5 (57%) Australians have never searched for lost super
  • A quarter (25%) of Australians are a little confused by lost super, with a further
  • 19% not knowing what lost super is at all
  • The average balance of a lost super account in Australia is $2,592

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