Have you noticed more money in your bank account? You may not be alone, with around 10,000 Australians receiving cash back from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in recent weeks.
Where has the money come from? Well, it was yours to start off with. The ATO has announced that for any lost super balances under $200, they will be reuniting the balance with members bank accounts. For those with lost super over these amounts, the money will be paid back into an active superannuation fund listed with the ATO for the member. And this represents a lot of money. In fact, around $3.9 billion dollars was the amount of lost super that the ATO held at the end of the 2018/19 financial year.
How does Lost Super come about?
If you move from one employer to another, it’s common that a new superannuation fund is opened on your behalf and contributions directed to the new fund.
If a member changes address, and forgets to update this with the old fund, they will be classified as a “lost” member, as they are uncontactable.
If the super fund balance is below $6,000 with no contributions or rollover being received, the fund will be considered as being inactive.
To make sure that the balance is not eroded by fees and can be reunited at some point with the member, it is moved to an ATO-held super.
Generally, money is transferred here for any of the following:
• unclaimed super for members aged 65 years or older, non-member spouses and deceased members
• small lost member accounts and insoluble lost member accounts
• inactive low-balance accounts
• super for temporary residents who have left Australia for six months or more.
If you have ATO-held super, the good news is that for balances under $6,000, the money will be coming back to you, either directly to an active super fund, or to your bank account if the balance is also under $200.
It’s important that you check your banking details with the ATO if you think that money is coming back to you, to make sure that it will be paid to a correct account. You can also track any super (inactive or active) by logging into ATO Online through your MyGov account.
Teneale Laister | CFP® Professional, BCom(Fin,FP,Mgt) ADFS(FP) | Executive Director & Financial Adviser is a representative of Alman Partners Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence No: 222107.
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