From the end of this month, all 'lost' super accounts will be transferred to the Australian Tax Office.
The move is part of a long term strategy by the Australian Government to consolidate 'lost super', worth over $16 billion.
'Lost super' is defined as accounts that have not received a contribution for at least 12 months and have a value of $2,000 or less. Until now, the ATO has only had the authority to claim super funds of up to $200.
From 31 May, the ATO will automatically claim all accounts with balances between $200 and $2,000 on the 'lost members' register that are unable to be transferred or reunited with their owner. This could exceed one million accounts worth several billion dollars.
ATO Deputy Commissioner for Superannuation, Alison Lendon, says lost super makes up around 15 per cent of all super accounts.
"By having these lost accounts with low balances transferred to the ATO, it will be easier for Australians to find their savings and roll their money into one fund of their choice."
On average, it is thought most Australians have at least two super accounts.
If you have super accounts holding less than $2,000 that are deemed lost or inactive, they will be transferred to the ATO by the end of May.
There are currently 3.4 million 'lost' super accounts worth $16.8 billion, with more than 2.8 million unclaimed super accounts valued at $887 million.
Super accounts are deemed 'lost' for many reasons and usually belong to people who have changed their name, address or job.
This is not an opt-out scheme. To stop your super accounts being transferred to the ATO, you must consolidate your accounts or make direct contact with all your super funds.
You can reclaim your money from the ATO, although this will take time and you will lose any insurance arrangements you have had with your fund. Failure to lodge your annual return by the due date can result in penalties and the loss of tax concessions.
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