Sunday, 7 April 2013

Superannuation – finding lost super

If you’ve changed jobs over the years – and who hasn’t – and taken your employer’s default super fund option at any stage, you may have acquired a number of accounts with a variety of institutions.  It seems to be one of those facts of life that everyone knows should be diligently attended to, but a few moments of forgetfulness and one account breeds into an entire family.

The Millionaire on Heels changed jobs a couple of times in two years and wound up with four accounts – at a retail fund, an employer fund, an industry fund, and a corporate sponsored retail fund no less!  I went through last year and tried to consolidate them back to one.  Of course my last employer contribution slipped through after that transfer, and I still have one month’s contribution remaining in a fund I know longer want or need.

It is important to find those small accounts and consolidate them for several reasons:
  • As you are generally charged account keeping fees for each super account, the fees can be significant
  • If you move house and forget to update your address with each fund, you won’t receive your statements and may lose track of your balances over time
  • The government is increasingly focused on collecting small amounts of super via the ATO.  While you reclaim your super from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), it won’t be earning significant investment income while it’s there