New Year resolutions come in many shapes and sizes and range from the really challenging – I am going to get fit, healthy, drink less, lose weight – through to the less strenuous – stop watching reality TV, meditate more, read some good books, or take a break from Facebook.
For most of us, we are lucky if our New Year resolutions last more than a couple of weeks, at the most. Then, we fall back into our old ways. Sound familiar? This year, being a brand-new year and the start of the “20’s”, we would like to encourage you to spend some time to get your “super” sorted. While superannuation is about as exciting as spending a Saturday night sharpening lawn mower blades, or tidying the underwear drawer, there can be some real financial benefits in getting your super in order.
How do we get our super sorted out in the most painless way?
We all have super. And, for many people, we like our super so much we have multiple accounts! The problem is we lose track of those accounts and don’t really know what we have, where it is, or how much we have saved. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) reports that as at 30 June 2019 there was almost $20.8 billion of lost and unclaimed super, spread over 2.8 million separate accounts. That’s a lot of money currently sitting with the ATO. Now, contrary to what you might think, the ATO is keen to reunite all that lost and unclaimed super with its rightful owners.
How did we lose our super in the first place?
Well, we move around a lot. We change address, we change jobs, and we forget to tell our super fund where they can find us. And, even when they try to get in touch by email, we probably tend to ignore those emails any way. Each time we change jobs, it can seem easier to get our new company to deposit super contributions into their “default” fund. As a result, we end up with multiple accounts with a variety of different super funds. After a while, if our super fund cannot find us, our super becomes “lost” and it is transferred to the ATO.
What can we do?
Most of us will now have a “My Gov” account. If you don’t have one, then it is time to get one. This is the way the government wants us to access government services like the ATO, Medicare, and Centrelink. Within your MyGov account, if you select the ATO service you will find an option called “super”. Within that “super” option, you can select “fund details”. Once there, it will show the details of each super account you have. You can even manage your funds from here, including the ability to combine all your super accounts into one if you wish. Doing so may help save on the fees for owning multiple super funds. However, before consolidating your super, make sure to check that you are not losing valuable benefits like insurance. Talk to a financial planner and have them check out the insurance you have or, at the very least, call up each super fund and ask then to let you have details of your insurances.
How much lost super do you think the ATO might be holding for you?
Superannuation is going to become more important as we age. Living a life that is solely supported by the age pension is not going to deliver the lifestyle that many aspire to for their retirement. Now is the time to take control of your super and start to make some progress in adding to your eventual retirement nest-egg.
HG Financial Services – Corporate Authorised Representative 401592 of Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd ABN: 93 161 647 007 AFSL: 449221
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