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Retirement

Super accounts held by Australians: Lost super

By Louise Chan · November 13 2019
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Lost Super

Super accounts held by Australians: Lost super

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By Louise Chan · November 13 2019
Reading:
egg
egg
egg
Lost Super

INFOGRAPHIC: According to the most recent Australian Taxation Office (ATO) statistics, the percentage of Australians with multiple super accounts has been decreasing in the past four financial years.

Lost Super Infographic
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However, the value of lost and unclaimed super money (USM) also slightly increased over the same period.

According to the ATO, that increase in USM was largely due to the $2,000 increase set to the account threshold from $4,000 to $6,000.

Lost super from 2015 to 2018

To protect low-balance super accounts from being eaten up by fees, the government introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Act 2019.

The ATO proactively consolidates super accounts on behalf of eligible individuals who have inactive low-balance accounts.

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This protection has led to a decline in the number of lost superannuation accounts within the past four financial years (FY).

According to the ATO report, the number of lost and uncontactable accounts held by the ATO went down from 665,000 in FY 2014-15 to 257,000 in FY 2017-18. Likewise, lost inactive funds halved from 727,000 to 323,000.

However, ATO-held accounts increased in the same time frame – with general, small and insoluble unclaimed accounts going up from 3,796,000 to 4,571,000.

Unclaimed super owned by temporary residents likewise increased from 776,000 to 790,000.

The trend continues with superannuation holding accounts (SHA): Active SHAs increased from 168,000 to 273,000 and inactive accounts from 62,000 to 66,000 in the same four-year period.

Number of super accounts held by individuals

In the 2014-15 financial year, 57 per cent of Aussies held one super account, 25 per cent owned two accounts and the remaining 16 per cent held three or more accounts.

But with the ATO’s increasing efforts to help people consolidate their super through various methods and legislations, the number of consolidated funds increased in the past four years.

In FY 2015-16, the proportion of Aussies who held only one account increased to 60 per cent. Aussies with two accounts remained the same at 25 per cent, but those with three or more accounts went down to 13 per cent.

FY 2016-17 saw a further improvement in numbers, with 61 per cent of Aussies now holding just one account and 24 per cent with two.

As at the financial year (FY) ending 30 June 2018, about 64 per cent of the population held only one super account. This translates to over 10 million Aussies whose retirement savings are held in one super account.

Super account values

Despite the improvement in numbers, the value of lost, inactive and ATO-held super accounts increased in the same time frame.

The value of lost and uncontactable accounts decreased from $5.8 billion to $5.2 billion, but the value of lost inactive accounts increased from $7.7 billion to $8.2 billion.

As for ATO-held accounts, general, small and insoluble accounts increased from $2 billion to $3.3 billion. Similarly, the value of unclaimed accounts of temporary residents also increased from $571 million to $595 million.

The value of active SHAs in FY 2017-18 increased by 52 per cent compared with four years prior – SHAs were valued at $69 million in FY 2014-15 but leapt to $105 million in FY 2017-18.

As for inactive SHAs, the consolidated revenue remained the same over the four-year period at $13 million.

Super accounts held by Australians: Lost super
Lost Super
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About the author

Louise is a content producer for Momentum Media’s nestegg who likes keeping up-to-date with all the ways people can work towards financial stability in 2019. She also enjoys turning complex information into easy-to-digest, practical tips to help those who want to achieve financial independence.

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About the author

Louise is a content producer for Momentum Media’s nestegg who likes keeping up-to-date with all the ways people can work towards financial stability in 2019. She also enjoys turning complex information into easy-to-digest, practical tips to help those who want to achieve financial independence.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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