Millions of super accounts to be handed to ATO
MILLIONS of low-balance superannuation accounts will be transferred to the tax office in the coming months if account holders fail to stake a claim on their accounts.
Latest ATO figures show they hold more than $4 billion in 5.52 million unclaimed super accounts.
From July 1 super funds must hand over dormant accounts to the ATO with balances below $6000 that have not received any contributions within the last 16 months.
Australians are being urged to take urgent action to claw back their low balance accounts, as funds have until October 31 to transfer these accounts to the ATO.
The ATO then has 28 days to try and reunite the unclaimed account into a person's active account otherwise they will hold onto the account until its claimed back.
Super fund exit fees - which can cost hundreds of dollars - are also being banned from July 1 in a move to make it cheaper and more enticing for members to switch.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia's chief policy officer, Glen McCrea, urged all Australians to visit MyGov and check if they had missing or inactive accounts.
"We encourage everyone to check their super and consider consolidating their accounts where appropriate as soon as possible," he said.
"There are several ways to do this - visit MyGov or contact your active super fund and ask them to do it for you."
The nation's largest super fund, AustralianSuper's group executive of product, brand and reputation Paul Schroder, said in the past six weeks they had been reuniting members with unclaimed accounts.
"We have sent letters to over 220,000 members and more than 16,000 responding and reactivating their accounts," he said.
The ATO's assistant commissioner, Graham Whyte, said Australians could be reunited with their funds by consolidating money into a person's active account if they could find you.
"Where we are unable to find an account to transfer the money to we will hold it for you," he said.
"If we hold your super you can claim it from us anytime."
Members would also lose their insurance cover on inactive super accounts if they failed to take action, Intrust Super's chief executive officer Brendan O'Farrell warned.
"The loss of insurance cover is a real concern," he said.
"When family members wish to claim an insurance payment on behalf of themselves or a loved one in the future, it could be devastating for individuals to find out that cover had been lost due to changes in legislation."
FIND YOUR SUPER
- Visit MyGov
- Set up a MyGov account if you don't already have one
- Once it's set up link it to ATO online services
- View your super accounts in the super tab
- Here you can transfer or claim super