Fix the leak – consolidate your super accounts
Having more than one super account is a bit like having a leaking pipe that’s wasting your precious water and costing you money. So how do you fix it?
Find the leak
It’s easy to lose sight of previous super funds. You might move house or job, and forget to update your contact details with the super fund. Unfortunately these forgotten super accounts still attract fees and gradually diminish over time.
Eventually, if an account has not received any money for five years, the account is classified as “lost” and sent to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to hold. The ATO estimates that at 30 June 2017, there was at least $18 billion languishing in lost and unclaimed super funds.^
To find any lost or unclaimed super in your name, you’ll need to create a myGov account at www.my.gov.au and link it to the ATO. You’ll then need to provide your tax file number, full name and date of birth. Once you’re in, you can:
- See details of all the super accounts in your name, including those you’ve lost track of.
- See details of any ATO-held super (this is super that was sent to the ATO because there was no account to pay it into).
- Combine your accounts by transferring them into your preferred account.
Your super fund might also have an online rollover tool that does pretty much the same thing. Check yours out.
But before you do anything else
Before you start consolidating or moving funds, you need to tick off a few simple checks:
- Exit and withdrawal fees. Check the exit and withdrawal fees on any funds you’re thinking about consolidating.
- Insurance. Check the insurance on all super funds. In most circumstances, your super will include death and disability insurance, and income protection cover. You need to be comfortable about losing any insurance you have with a consolidating fund. You might decide that it’s worth keeping the super account open for the insurance it provides as you might not be able to get this cover elsewhere.
- Employer contributions. If you’re employed, check your employer can contribute to your preferred fund and remember to let them know about your super choice.
- Fund performance and fees. Investment performance and low fees matter. Does the fund you’re choosing have a good investment record over the past five to ten years? Are the fees competitive? You want to give your new consolidated account the best chance to grow, so choose carefully.
Stay in touch with your super
Having just one account should make it much easier to keep on top of. Being engaged with your super gives you the best possible chance of growing your investment, and consolidating your accounts is one of the biggest steps you can take. Good luck.
Electricity Supply Industry Superannuation (Qld) Ltd (ABN 30 069 634 439) (AFSL336567) is the Trustee and issuer of Energy Super (ABN 33 761 363 685). Any advice contained in this document is general in nature and not specific to your particular circumstances. You should consider your financial situation before acting on the advice. You should also obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making an investment decision, available at www.energysuper.com.au or by calling 1300 436 374.