Get your money out of unclaimed super before it’s eaten by fees

If you are among the half of working Australians with unclaimed superannuation, it’s time to act – claim what’s rightfully yours and stop being ripped off by the managers of Australia’s $5.6 billion of unclaimed super.

That’s the message from Jess Bresnahan, managing director of superannuation research firm SuperRatings.

Analysis by SuperRatings has revealed that the total amount of unclaimed super in eligible rollover funds increased by almost 4% to $5.65 billion in 2006-07. The total number of fund members (that is, people with unclaimed super) grew by 9% to a staggering 5.61 million. The average account balance per member is $1096.

Bresnahan estimates the amount of fees squeezed from unsuspecting superannuates at around $100 million.

So how do you find out if you have unclaimed super? Start by heading to the tax office’s SuperSeeker website with your tax file number and perform an online search. Bresnahan says that if the amount found is less than $200, you may be able to take it out tax-free.

Bresnahan wants a complete overhaul of the unclaimed super area. Rather than unclaimed super being pushed into high-fee specialist funds, he says the money should be given to the tax office or a limited group of fund managers who would have their fee level capped.

“In reality, many of the lost members in these funds do not exist. So rather than leave their accounts to be bled dry, let’s put the money in the public purse and utilise it. Even if they do exist, the money can be used until it is claimed”


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