Why should I care about my lost super?

May 2018

For some, thinking about super can be a bit like getting that dental filling replaced—it’s important, but sometimes we leave it until the last minute to do something about it.

We don’t blame you. But if there was a quick and painless way to gather up all of your super—would you take it? Let’s explore why you should care about your lost super and how we’ve made it easier for you to do something about it.

How does super get ‘lost’ in the first place?

Changing jobs is usually the biggest culprit. 

Every time you move from one job to another, if you don’t provide your new employer with details of where you want your super in the new job to go (provided you have this choice), your employer will generally pay your super into their ‘default’ fund. This means you could be paying multiple sets of fees and insurance premiums for each separate account—which can mean less money for retirement.

The flow-on effect is that we tend to lose track of each account, and from here it becomes ‘lost’ super.

Does that mean my money’s gone forever?

No. ‘Lost’ doesn’t mean ‘gone’—it just means ‘misplaced’—and even then, it’s not as bad as it sounds. While it might be lost to you, the ATO knows exactly where it is.

Under law, a super account is ‘lost’ when:

  1. no contributions or rollovers have been added in the previous 12 months, and
  2. you haven’t contacted the fund in the last 12 months, and
  3. you haven’t logged in to your account in the last 12 months, and
  4. either your super fund never had an address for you, or mail sent to you by your super fund has been returned unclaimed.

How do I know if I have lost super?

There are a few ways to find lost super. You can go through the ATO’s online MyGov service. Or better yet, we can do it for you.

UniSuper to the rescue 

To find your missing super and bring it all together, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Check that we have your tax file number 
  3. Go to our Combine my super tool 
  4. Select the box that lets us contact the ATO on your behalf and we’ll take care of the rest—it’s that simple. 

And that’s it

There’s never been an easier way to track down and combine your missing super. While it may not be the most glamorous thing to do now, finding your super could have a significant impact on your life in retirement. Before you combine your super, make sure your other funds don’t charge any exit or withdrawal fees (although they won’t be allowed to for much longer—see our budget recap) and that any existing insurance cover you may have won’t be affected.