It’s not every day you find $45,000. But that’s exactly what happened to Fiona, after being reunited with lost super from a previous job. Fiona’s not alone – as of November 2019, Australians had amassed almost $20.8 billion in lost and unclaimed super1. Some of that might be yours. Discover Fiona’s story and how you could find lost super.
Fiona’s super story – “Like winning the lottery”
As a busy mother of 2, retirement and super weren’t high on Fiona Tannick-Jones’ list of concerns. However, when she heard that older and middle-aged women are the highest growing proportion of homeless people, during a seminar run by AustralianSuper, she sat up and took notice. 'As you become older you become less employable. And your super’s already been reduced because you’ve been out of the workforce for a period of time with children,’ she explains.
Consider your financial future carefully
Fiona has had a diverse career; she’s worked for Australia Post, completed studies in naturopathy and remedial massage, worked in massage at a Broome football club, and later transitioned into an executive assistant role with the Western Australian state government. However, she endured change and uncertain economic circumstances while raising her daughters, both now in their 20s.
Fiona also took 6 months of unpaid leave to work full time as a carer, to look after her mother. While she always aimed to return to full time work one day, Fiona urges other women to consider their financial future carefully. Particularly if you’ve changed jobs or taken time off work – whether that’s for a career break, to raise a family, or care for someone. ‘I tell everyone I come across to do a lost super search. Make sure that you’re going to make a conscious effort to cover your expenses once work has gone for you,’ she says.
In the lead up to retirement, Fiona was keen to make the most of her remaining working years. ‘I was excited about going back to work. I think it keeps you healthy. It keeps you engaged with your community and it gives you a purpose,’ she says. But she always had one eye on the future, too: ‘You never know what’s around the corner.’
Find lost super
Just like Fiona, a simple super search could help you track down money that belongs to you. You can find your lost super using the ATO online services through myGov. Alternatively, if you’re an AustralianSuper member and give the Fund consent to use your Tax File Number (TFN), we can help you track down your lost super.
Whether you’re nearing retirement or it’s a little way off, adding to your super now can make a big difference to the amount of money you have when you retire.
Combine your super into one account
If you do find lost super, you might want to consider combining those accounts into one. By doing this, you can save on fees that might be eating away at a balance that’s no longer being added to. You can also avoid duplicate insurance policies.
Before making a decision to combine multiple funds, look out for any fees or charges for closing an account. Make sure you also understand the impact of combining your accounts on any additional benefits, such as insurance.
In some circumstances, insurance cover linked to your super will lapse if there are no contributions and your account falls below $6,0002. Be sure to have a look at the insurance cover you have through your super, as well as any special conditions that might apply if you’re off work.