Any Australian worker who has changed jobs last financial year (ending June 2013) needs to check what has happened to their superannuation, says Jonathan Philpot, wealth management partner at HLB Mann Judd Sydney.
“Unless action has been taken to transfer super from a previous fund to a new one, or to ensure contributions from the new employer go to the existing fund, people could end up with two funds.
“A recent Lost Super Report* report, which shows $18.1 billion in forgotten super funds, highlights the need for fund members to be keep track of their super fund position – particularly when they change jobs.
“Often super funds offer a free service to members to help track down lost super and roll it into their new fund.
“The report also acts as a reminder for people to keep records of bank accounts and other places they have money, as the amount lost this way is also rising.”
Mr Philpot said that all super fund members should receive a statement about their superannuation fund in the next few weeks from each of the funds they are in.
“So anyone who left their job last financial year (2013) and who also changed their address should make sure they get statement for all funds they are in and, if necessary, follow up with their super fund trustees to make sure that their records are current.
“This will also be necessary for anyone else who changed their address during the year, even if they didn’t change employer,” Mr Philpot said.
He added that having two funds is usually more expensive as it can duplicate fees, and over a long period of time this can add up to a significant sum.
“All employees need to stay aware of their super position and not see it as something that is boring, or irrelevant to them.
“People should aim to be more engaged with their superannuation. As well as consolidating funds, they should also check whether the default investment option is the right investment option for them and also if the default insurance cover is adequate for their needs.
“Superannuation represents their savings, they own it, and they should make sure that they retain control, and if necessary seek advice about it – especially when the balance starts to reach a significant level,” Mr Philpot said.
* Westpac “Lost Super Report”, researched by Core Data – http://www.westpac.com.au/docs/pdf/aw/2013_Westpac_Lost_Super_report.pdf
HLB Mann Judd Sydney is a firm of accountants and business and financial advisers, and part of the HLB Mann Judd Australasian Association.
For more information please contact:
Jonathan Philpot – Phone: 02 9020 4196
15 July 2013