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 should be made if you're aged 18 or over1 and earning more than $450 before tax a month.
Sometimes your employer will suggest a super fund when you start working. This means if you change jobs frequently or work several part-time jobs, you could end up with multiple accounts and lose track of some of your money.
How does super go missing?
There are several circumstances where a fund is required to send super accounts to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for safekeeping. These super accounts held by the ATO are known as 'unclaimed super'.
For example, if a fund can't contact a member, the member hasn’t contacted the fund or accessed their account details in the last 12 months, the fund hasn’t received a contribution or rollover in the last 12 months and the account balance is less than $6,000, the fund is classified as a 'small lost super account' and the fund has to transfer it to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). This is just one example of unclaimed super2.
You can claim unclaimed or lost super at any time.
What can you do to claim your super?
You can search for any unclaimed super by contacting the ATO or finding it through your myGov account. Make sure your current super fund has your tax file number (TFN) because that can help reunite you with your super at any stage of your life.
Before you jump in and consolidate, it makes sense to consider whether you can transfer your insurance cover or replace any insurance cover you may 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.
1 Super Guarantee is only payable to employees under age 18 if they work for 30 or more hours a week.
2 Unclaimed super also includes 'inactive low balance accounts. Visit ATO for more information.