Media Releases

19 November 2020

ASFA: 700,000 Australians reunited with over $1 billion of lost and unclaimed super

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) says as many as 700,000 Australians will receive lost and unclaimed super payments of around $1 billion in total just in time for Christmas this year.

ASFA estimates 700,000 Australians stand to receive a payment as a result of the latest round of consolidating lost and small inactive superannuation account balances. Each April and October super funds send lost and small inactive accounts to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as part of a process of reuniting accounts with account holders and ASFA has long advocated to get the money back into people’s active super accounts as soon as possible.

“The amount of money to be transferred back into people’s super accounts will vary from small amounts up to thousands of dollars. We estimate that the average amount will be around $1,600,” said ASFA Deputy CEO, Glen McCrea.

Cash payments will be made automatically to active super and bank accounts in cases where the ATO is able to reunite members of inactive super accounts with lost balances.

People with inactive super accounts with balances of less than $6,000 will see that balance automatically transferred into their current active super account.

However, if the balance is less than $200, that sum will be sent to their bank account, if the ATO has the correct details – and if a person is aged over 65, the cash will be sent to their bank account regardless of the amount.

“Last year the ATO transferred a number of large unclaimed super payments, including $600,000 to a woman aged over 65 who had recently lost her house in a fire, and to a retired man who received a payment of $120,000.”

The ATO pays interest on super balances at the rate of inflation, currently less than 2 per cent, and significantly lower than the average annual investment return that super fund members typically earn through their super fund.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Australians to engage with any unclaimed super that they may have. It’s a good idea to log into myGov to update your contact details and to check for any lost super the ATO may still be holding in your name,” Mr McCrea concluded.

For further information, please contact:
Jacqui Maddock, 0451 949 300.

About ASFA
ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia’s superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political, national organisation. ASFA’s mission is to continuously improve the superannuation system, so all Australians can enjoy a comfortable and dignified retirement.