Employers have to make compulsory superannuation contributions on behalf of most employees.
It’s called Superannuation Guarantee (SG) and regardless of how big or small a business is, the contribution has to be made.
But keeping track of it might be tricky if you change jobs, or work several part-time jobs, or are employed on a casual basis.
Data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) showed in August 2016 that there is almost $12bn in lost superannuation.
If a fund can't contact a member, or they are an eligible member and their fund hasn't received a contribution to their account for five years, they are considered a 'lost member'.
If a lost member's balance is $4,000 or less, the fund has to transfer the money to the ATO and that is known as ‘unclaimed super’.
Unclaimed super can be claimed at any time, with up to $2.5bn being returned to individuals during the 2015-16 financial year, according to the ATO.
Members can lose contact with their super funds when they change jobs, move house, or forget to update their details.
Casual workers, students and workers with multiple part-time jobs can be unaware that they have super, or they may have forgotten about it.
The ATO highlights that you should try to make certain that your super fund has your tax file number (TFN) because that can help to reunite you with your super at any stage of your life.
You can search for your super by contacting the ATO, but Essential Super customers can now do it anytime using the CommBank app or NetBank. Simply logon, select your Essential Super account and tap ‘Consolidate my super’.
Before you jump in and consolidate, it makes sense to consider whether you can replace any insurance cover you will lose if you roll over, as well as any withdrawal fees from other super funds.
You should also compare the costs, risks and benefits of your super funds and consider any investment or tax implications.