Efforts to return lost super to Australians with greater federal oversight welcome

13 February 2017
Efforts to ensure that Australians have their lost super returned is an overdue and important step that will benefit people not only in retirement, but also those who may have suffered a serious illness or injury Maurice Blackburn Lawyers said today.

Maurice Blackburn Principal Kim Shaw said that lost super and the critical issue of underpaid super remained key issues affecting many Australians.

“In recent weeks there has been much discussion about additional measures needed to crack down on the issue of unpaid super, as well as to help ensure lost super is returned to Australians,” Ms Shaw said.

“Lost super is a critical issue, indeed the Association of Super Funds of Australia (ASFA) recently estimated that around $2.7 billion in unclaimed super is sitting with the Australian Tax Office.

“Unlike regular super accounts, no death or disability insurance cover is provided in lost super, which means members and their families cannot claim if they die or cease work due to injury or sickness.

“We have acted for many people who have discovered that they are unable to claim only after their account balances have been transferred into lost super.

“Given this, we welcome reports today that Senator Nick Xenophon is looking at urgent legislation to address lost super, as well as the calls of ASFA for the Federal Government to play a greater role in returning lost super to Australians.

“It is important however that lost super is returned to an active super account, rather than just any super account - too many inactive accounts see people’s super balances eaten up in fees.

“Therefore, we also call on any federal legislation introduced to address these issues to ensure that active accounts are prioritised for the distribution of lost super,” she said.