ATO hopes to reunite over $20b in lost super

Data from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) shows there is over $20.8 billion in lost and unclaimed super in Australia and new legislation meant the ATO could reunite Australians with their lost super, without them needing to take action.

The new law required superannuation funds to report and pay inactive low balance accounts to the ATO, which included accounts that had not received a contribution for 16 months and had a balance below $6,000.

Graham Whyte, ATO assistant commissioner, said last year over 540,000 active, lost and unclaimed super accounts worth over $4.4 billion were consolidated using ATO online via myGov.

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“Often people lose touch with their fund by simply changing jobs or moving home. It’s important to know that this doesn’t mean it’s lost forever, getting back in touch is easier than you think,” Whyte said.

The ATO had received over 2.3 million inactive low balance accounts from super funds, worth approximately $2.16 billion.

“We are now working to reunite Australians with these amounts by either transferring it into an active super account, or directly into their bank account where the amount is less than $200 or the member is aged over 65 years,” Whyte said.

Whyte said that so far, they had reunited just over 841,000 accounts worth nearly $1.38 billion.

“This includes approximately 684,000 accounts worth $1.22 billion that have been transferred into an individual’s active super account and approximately 157,000 accounts worth $161 million directly to individuals’ bank accounts,” Whyte said.

“We will be continuing this work throughout November and into the future. We will let you know after we have reunited you with your super.”

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