Lost Super

If you’re like approximately 43%* of working Australians, you’ll have more than one super account. And if you’re like a significant percentage of those people, you’ll have accounts that you have lost track of, or that you might not even realise exist.

You need to be aware that every day your super remains lost, you’re probably sacrificing valuable earnings that you could have been making by having all your super active and working for you in a single super account.

The great news is that it’s easy to round up your lost super and to get your money working for you.

Get your hands on your lost super and get your money working for you

Superannuation was set up as a benefit for Australian employees in the 1980s. It’s fantastic to know your super is there and that it’s gradually accumulating for you behind the scenes. Unfortunately though, because super is an automatic feature of employment and because it’s compulsory, a lot of people get complacent about it. They don’t give any thought to how they can make that automatic benefit of employment work for them to its utmost potential.

Incredibly, one of the most common things people neglect about their super is the amount of money they have in super accounts they have lost track of! In fact, approximately one in every two working Australians has lost super, which is money that over time, they have left in old super accounts and forgotten about. Or they may never even have known they had that money to start with. 

There is a huge amount of money in lost super in Australia. Currently the tally is approximately $14 billion, held in more than 5.7 million lost and ATO held accounts**.

And some of this money could easily be yours.

How super gets lost

These days people change jobs more often, particularly in the early stages of their working lives. Every time you start a new job your employer may well be opening a new super account for you in your name. And ultimately, simply as a result of having had four or five different jobs, you might have as many different super accounts set up for you – and they could easily be with completely different super funds.

Also when you change address – which again is a very common scenario for younger people in the early stages of their career – you won’t necessarily have given any thought to advising your various super funds of your new address. Which means those super funds can’t contact you. They don’t have anywhere to send your annual statements and eventually they will classify you as a ‘lost’ member.

Superannuation is considered ‘lost’ if no money is added to an account for 12 months and a person’s fund doesn’t have their current address. Once someone’s super is classified as lost your super fund is required to transfer it to the ATO, which holds your super for you until you claim it.

These days the lost super amounts that are held by the ATO earn interest – although it’s a low rate of interest and very unlikely to be the same level of earnings your super could have been making for you while it was invested in your super fund. 

It pays to keep all your super together

When you have multiple super accounts – whether or not you know about them – it’s simply wasteful and you’re not getting the level of earnings you could be. Even if your super accounts are not lost, by maintaining super in multiple super funds, you’re probably paying multiple sets of administration fees and insurance costs. This is really slowing down the rate of your saving and it’s preventing you from accumulating super at the rate you need for a comfortable retirement. 

It’s easy to get your lost super back

Fortunately, it’s easy to find your lost super.

You might have super you didn’t know about. Even if you think you don’t have any other super accounts it doesn’t hurt to check. You could be pleasantly surprised.

You can get GuildSuper to conduct a search for you or you can do it yourself by using the ATO’s online Superseeker tool.

Then when you’ve found your lost super you can roll it all together into one super fund and get it working for you***.

You’ll save on fees and you’ll start earning investment returns on a larger amount of money.

GuildSuper runs searches for members lost super accounts at no extra cost. You just need to give us permission to do it for you. When we have completed the search we will write to you with the details of your lost accounts and help you through the process of combining all your accounts together. 

Find your lost super

To ask GuildSuper to find your lost super go to: guildsuper.com.au/lostsuper or call us on

1300 361 477.

If you already know where all your super accounts are but you just need help to combine them, use our easy online rollover form at: guildsuper.com.au/tools/rollover-online

*ATO, June 2016
** ATO, June 2016
***It is important to consider any exit fees, changes to your insurance cover or loss of any benefits and where future employer contributions will be paid before closing any superannuation fund accounts you may have.

This document contains general advice only and doesn't take into account what you currently have, want and need for your personal circumstances. It is important for you to consider these matters and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before you make a decision about a superannuation product. You can get a copy of the GuildSuper PDS by calling 1300 361 477 or by visiting guildsuper.com.au. You may also wish to consult a licensed or appropriately authorised financial planner. Guild Trustee Services Pty Limited ABN 84 068 826 728 AFS Licence No. 233815 RSE Licence No. L0000611 as Trustee of the Guild Retirement Fund ABN 22 599 554 834 (which includes GuildSuper) My Super Authorisation No. 22599554834526