Be reunited with your savings
In Australia, your employer contributes money to a superannuation account on your behalf. If you’ve had more than one employer, you may have multiple super accounts. Over time, it’s easy to lose track of these accounts, especially if you’ve moved home or changed your name. Any super that’s in an inactive account with a fund that has been unable to contact you is considered lost. If this amount is small enough, it will eventually be transferred to the ATO to hold on your behalf.
To avoid losing track of your super, find out how to manage your super when changing jobs.
Read the transcript
Finding lost super
ATO figures show there's about $16 billion—that's around 700,000 accounts—in lost super.
If you've had more than one job, there's a good chance you might also have more than one super fund.
Employers can sometimes automatically join new employees to a default super fund when they first start. So it can be easy to lose track of multiple accounts, especially if you've moved house or changed your name.
Finding lost super and combining it with your main account can help you maximise your potential investment returns, cut out unnecessary fees, keep track of your super balance, and avoid unwanted insurance cover.^
Super funds consider an account to be 'lost' if it hasn't received any contributions or transfers in the last five years, or if they haven't been able to contact you.
Super is 'unclaimed' when you're able to withdraw your balance, but again, the fund hasn't been able to contact you. Lost and unclaimed super is usually transferred to the ATO.
Here are three ways you can search for lost super.
Firstly, if you link your myGov profile to the ATO, you'll be able to see a list of active super accounts.
The ATO also has a lost super search line that you can call, which is 13 28 65.
If you're a UniSuper member, we make it easy to find lost super as well. Simply log into your account online and use the 'Combine my super' tool. It'll help you look for lost super and give you the option to combine everything into one spot.
Here are some simple ways you can keep track of your super.
Check that your super fund has your current contact details so they can keep in touch with you.
And consider consolidating your super. Transferring your super to one account can minimise fees and charges and means less admin, saving you time and money.
For more information about finding lost super, visit unisuper.com.au/find.
^ Before combining your super, consider the possible effects this might have on things like the fees you pay, the conditions of your insurance (including whether you can transition your insurance in your other fund to UniSuper) and the tax on your super. There could be other effects too, so it’s best to seek financial advice if you’re unsure.
The information contained in this video is of a general nature and doesn't consider your personal circumstances. Before making decisions, consider the relevant PDS and TMD on our website and your circumstances, and whether to seek financial advice. UniSuper Advice is operated by UniSuper Management Pty Ltd ABN 91 006 961 799 (USM), which is licensed to provide financial product advice. USM is also the administrator of the fund UniSuper ABN 91 385 943 850 (UniSuper). UniSuper Limited ABN 54 006 027 121 is the trustee of UniSuper.
What’s the difference between lost and unclaimed super?
How to find lost super
Keeping track of your super
Consolidate your super
Staple your super
If you have an eligible super account, the government will ‘staple’ it to so that it follows you when you change jobs. This is called a Single Default Account.
You can find out more about stapled super funds on the ATO website.
Manage your account from wherever you are 24/7. Check your estimated balance, review your investment options, keep up with recent transactions and more.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know if I have lost superannuation?
The ATO has a superannuation search tool that lets you check if you have lost or unclaimed super. You can log in to the ATO via your MyGov account. If you want to transfer any lost super to your super fund, you’ll need your member number as well.
If you’re a UniSuper member, you can search for lost super directly through your online account with the Combine my super tool.
What happens to my superannuation if I change jobs?
For most people, the government will link your super to you. This is called stapling and means your super follows you when you change jobs, so you don't need to do anything. If you don’t have a stapled fund, or would like to change funds, you can nominate a fund and rollover any existing super into your new account.
If you’re a UniSuper member, you can find out more on our Changing jobs page.
What is super stapling?
A stapled super fund is an existing super account that follows you when you change jobs. You generally won’t need to do anything as your employer should ask the ATO for your fund details.
If you only have one eligible super account, the ATO will share its info with your employer. If you have multiple super accounts, the ATO will consider factors such as whether you’ve previously nominated a stapled fund, which account has most recently received contributions, your account balances, and when the accounts were created to determine which super account to share with your employer.
You can read more about super stapling on the ATO website.
Can I claim lost superannuation from previous employers?If you think you’re missing super from a past employer, you can contact them to ask how much super they paid and which fund they made contributions into. If an employer hasn’t paid your super and you can’t resolve the issue directly with them, you can report this to the ATO and they’ll help you recover your payments.
How do I find lost super with my tax file number?You can use your tax file number (TFN) to search for lost super on the MyGov website. You can also call the Lost super search line on 13 28 65 and provide your TFN as well as your personal and contact details and any information you have about previous super funds. Alternatively you can complete a paper form and send it to the ATO.
What happens to lost superannuation if I never claim it?If your fund reports you as a lost member – for example, if your account hasn’t received a contribution in a long time and they’ve been unable to contact you – they may transfer your super balance to the ATO for holding. In certain circumstances, the ATO will transfer this money to an active super fund on your behalf. If you’re 65 or over, or the balance is less than $200, the ATO may pay it as a lump sum directly to you.
How do I find lost super for a deceased person?
When someone dies, their remaining super usually goes to their nominated beneficiary. If you’re a deceased person’s super beneficiary or estate executor, you should contact their fund to let them know the person has died and ask them to release the super balance.
If the super fund of a deceased person is unable to pay a beneficiary, this unclaimed super goes to the ATO. You can contact the ATO to check if they’re holding any super for the deceased.