$60m in superannuation unclaimed in Ballarat region

MORE than $60 million is up for grabs in unclaimed superannuation in the Ballarat region.

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Statistics released by the Australian Taxation Office reveal unclaimed superannuation had soared in Ballarat by more than 300 per cent.

The statistics are divided by postcodes and show Ballarat’s central postcode – 3350 – has 2921 unclaimed accounts amounting to $25.29 million.

In 2012, Ballarat’s unclaimed levy was just $7 million.

According to the statistics, upwards of $60 million is waiting to be claimed by residents in neighbouring localities, including Ballan, Beaufort, Creswick, Buninyong, Daylesford and Meredith.

Smith and Jennings Accountants partner Stephen Smith said the increase most likely stemmed from a growing mobile workforce.

“More people are changing jobs and while they remember to pick up overalls and laptops when they leave the business, they forget to take their super,” Mr Smith said.

“Super for people is something that happens when you retire, so it’s not top of mind.”

Citing personal experiences, Mr Smith condemned the reclamation process, deeming it “unreasonable” and “difficult”. 

He called on the State Revenue Office to consolidate the process because it led to mounting unclaimed monies in the region.

The statistics reveal more than $14 billion in lost super is waiting to be claimed across Australia. 

ATO assistant commissioner John Shepherd said $6 billion was waiting in accounts where funds had lost contact with the owner when a change of address had not been identified.

“It’s easy for this to happen because when people get married or move house, the last thing on their mind is updating their name and address details with a super fund.”

An additional $8 billion in super is sitting in accounts that have not received a contribution in five years or more.

To check if you have any lost or ATO-held super accounts, create a myGov account and link to the ATO.

david.jeans@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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