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Finding your lost super

Many Australians have superannuation that they have lost track of over the years. The ATO estimates that the total amount of lost super in Australia adds up to billions of dollars.

If you have ever changed your name or address it is possible that you have chunks of super that you’ve completely forgotten about. The same is true for super accumulated in a part-time or casual job, particularly if it was a long time ago.

If you think that you might have some lost super, you should track it down as soon as possible. By splitting your super between funds, you are most likely paying unnecessarily high fees.

Finding your lost super is easy with the ATO’s online SuperSeeker tool. You can also use the ATO app to do a quick search to determine whether or not you do have lost super. To do this, you will need to provide your name, date of birth and tax file number (TFN).

Posted on 18 August '14 by , under Super.

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Superfund categories and what they mean

There are four different categories of super funds. These have different primary features and are more applicable to certain people than they are to others.

Retail super funds

Anyone can join retail funds. They are mostly run by banks and investment companies:

  • Allow for a wide range of investment options.
  • Financial advisors may recommend this type of fund as they receive commissions or might get paid fees for them.
  • Although they usually range from medium to high cost, there may be low-cost alternatives.
  • The companies that own these funds will aim to keep some of the profit they yield

Industry super funds

Anyone can join bigger industry funds, but smaller ones may only be open to people in certain industries i.e. health.

  • Most are accumulation funds but some older ones may have defined benefit members
  • Range from low to medium cost
  • Not-for-profit, so all profits are put back into the fund

Public sector super funds

Only available for government employees

  • Employers contribute more than the 9.5% minimum
  • Modest range of investment choices
  • Newer members are usually in an accumulation fund, but many of the long-term members have defined benefits
  • Low fees
  • Profits are put back into the fund

Corporate super funds

Arranged by employers for employees. Large companies may operate corporate funds under the board of trustees. Some corporate funds are operated by retail or industry funds, but availability is restricted to employees

  • If managed by bigger fund, wide range of investment options
  • Older funds have defined benefits, but most are accumulation funds
  • Low to medium costs for large employers, could be high cost for small employers

Self-managed super funds

Private super fund you manage yourself. Many more nuances to this type of fund. Most prominent feature is the autonomy over investment.

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