Thousands of Queenslanders owed money

Queensland residents are missing out on $2.8 billion in lost super.

New Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data shows that there is more than $20.8 billion in lost and unclaimed super across Australia.

The data revealed Queensland residents are missing out on more than $2.8 billion in lost super in 643,688 accounts, an average of $4349 per account.

According to the report, people living in Cairns, Toowoomba, Mackay, Ipswich and Natural Bridge were most likely to have lost or unclaimed super with 54,899 unclaimed accounts totalling more than $238 million registered to the towns.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said last year more than 540,000 active, lost and unclaimed super accounts worth more than $4.4 billion was consolidated using the ATO’s myGov portal.

“Often people lose touch with their fund by simply changing jobs or moving home,” Mr Whyte said.

“It’s important to know that this doesn’t mean it’s lost forever, getting back in touch is easier than you think.”

New legislation means people with multiple super accounts they may have forgotten about, such as those who have started new jobs who signed up to a previous employer’s default fund, will no longer lose out on their hard-earned money.

 “With the ATO now able to reunite these inactive low balance accounts and previously unclaimed accounts, we’ve already started to see some incredible examples of people receiving meaningful boosts to their retirement savings,” Mr Whyte said.

Previously Australians had to apply to the ATO to access unclaimed super.

“One woman aged 68 will be directly paid over $1.5 million that was unclaimed and she’d lost touch with,” Mr Whyte said.

“Another woman was reunited with over $600,000 of unclaimed super after losing her home in a bushfire. 

“As she was over 65, we were able to pay that money directly to her and she is now able to use this money to rebuild her life.”

For information on how to manage your super and view all your super accounts including lost and unclaimed super, visit ato.gov.au/checkyoursuper.

Queensland postcodes with the highest amount of lost and unclaimed super

 Ranking  Postcode   Total number of accounts  Total value    
 1  4870 – Cairns and surrounds  13,783   $52,086,908
 2  4350 – Toowoomba and surrounds  12,148  $50,759,907
 3  4740 – Mackay and surrounds  10,903  $50,026,281
 4  4305 – Ipswich and surrounds  9,089  $39,211,981
 5  4211 – Natural Bridge and surrounds    8,976  $36,637,144

Source: ATO

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.