What property is good for a self managed super fund?

The average estimated lost super per person in NSW and Victoria is about $2500.

The pile of ‘‘lost’’ superannuation has risen to $18.1 billion, up from $17.4 billion a year ago.

The latest Westpac Lost Super Report, conducted by researcher Core Data for Westpac, estimates half the Australian population with super is likely to have lost super.

‘‘We are all planning to retire, so why don’t more of us spend just a few minutes to find any lost super,’’ said Deanne Stewart, the head of superannuation at Westpac.

For NSW and Victoria, the average estimated lost super per person with superannuation is about $2500.

Super money is deemed ‘‘lost’’ when the superannuation funds do not have the contact details of the member and the fund has been inactive for specified minimum period.

The huge number of multiple super accounts - where a person has several accounts with different funds - is one of the main reasons that people fail to keep track of their super. It is estimated in the report that almost a third of Australians with superannuation have more than one super account.

Multiple accounts are more likely with those who change jobs often, especially those working in the retail and hospitality industries where part-time and casual employment is common.

The government has long recognised the problem of lost super and has brought in a number of reforms to help re-unite the money with its owners.

Next year, superannuation funds will start automatically consolidating some of the accounts of their members. Increasing use is being made of tax file numbers by the Australian Taxation Office and by super funds to reunite lost super with its owners.

Also, super funds must transfer money from accounts to the ATO if they have been inactive, the owner cannot be contacted, and where there is less than $2000 in the account. Interest is paid on the super account equal to inflation while the ATO uses is data matching capabilities to locate the owners. 

Locating lost super is easy. Those who wish to check for lost super should go to the ATO's SuperSeeker search tool at ato.gov.au/superseeker or phone 13 28 65.