80,000 reasons to find your lost super

5 min read

Do you ever feel like you really should have more super in your account? When someone says "lost super", do you get a little twinge of recognition? BT's Lindsey "Linz" Hoad did. So she did the paperwork, and soon her super account was $80,000 richer.

Linz Hoad has done many different jobs in her time - TV producer (until the 3am starts took their toll), government department dogsbody, filing legal documents for a mining company. Even pulling beers in a seedy Sydney pub.

It wasn't until she returned from a disappointing sojourn in London ("You went up the mountain with nothing on but a beanie dear," said her mum, knowingly) that Linz's career took off on a new trajectory.

After landing a temp job in insurance at NRMA, she then plunged into the heady world of banking and finance. AMP, GIO, Suncorp, CBA, HSBC, GE Money Australia, GE Capital in London, CUNA Mutual Group - Linz worked at pretty much any financial acronym you can name.

In 2012 she landed at BT Financial Group, where she now runs consumer marketing strategy and channel development.

Linz's lightbulb moment

"At BT I was finally exposed to the world of superannuation," says Linz. "I realised I had no idea how much I had in super because it never felt like real money - it was out of sight, out of mind. I just filed those unopened statements."

She knew she had super sitting in the default funds of some previous employers, so she rolled them all over into her BT Super for Life account. Still - it seemed "a bit short of where it should be". Was the missing money gone forever? Or was it out there somewhere, with no way of tracking it down? That was Linz's scary "I'm going to be living on cat food when I'm 90" moment.

Fortunately, she shared her concerns with some BT colleagues who offered to do a super search for her. She filled in a couple of forms, and they were duly submitted.

So how much did she find? She was horrified and overjoyed to be rewarded with $80,000. "I couldn't believe that that much money could just disappear into accounts somewhere without me knowing," she says.

And that's not the end of it. She's just received the results of another search and BT have found yet another super account, as well as some money being held by the ATO. She plans on rolling these amounts over into her BT Super for Life account.

Life with lost super returned

A financially independent soul from a young age and a "good money manager", Linz says that finding her lost super has made her feel more comfortable and on track. As she heads towards her 40th birthday, she knows that having the retirement she wants is 100% up to her.

"I'm not going to be a cat lady in a dark bedsit; I'm determined to travel and enjoy life with complete financial freedom," Linz says. "Having people to peel grapes for me in my old age in my waterfront manor is critical. But seriously, I now know I need to be getting better financial advice, look at making additional contributions, be more involved in my super asset mix options and making my money work hard for me."

For anyone wanting to save for their future, finding all their super is the first step. "Do it, and do it now," Linz says. "It can be as simple as providing your consent for a search and then the super fund will do the rest for you… you could be saving yourself money as well if you consolidate and stop paying multiple administration fees. When you find it, and you can see your balance you are far more aware of what you need to do to ensure you have the financial future you want."

Before consolidating your super, you should consider where your future employer contributions will be paid and check to see if there will be any exit or withdrawal fees for moving your benefit, or other loss of benefits like loyalty benefits, or insurance, noting that you may not receive the same type or level of benefits after the rollover.

Claim what's yours!

As Linz points out, "You wouldn't give away a $80,000 Lotto cheque so why on earth would you do it with your super? I'd far prefer to get moving with my super, find it, combine it and grow it. And have the money in my pocket. It's that simple."

In Australia there are over 6 million lost and ATO held super accounts with a total value of just over $16 billion.1 If you've changed jobs more than once, it's possible some of that super belongs to you. Let BT help you find it by calling 132 135.

1 Source: https://www.ato.gov.au/About-ATO/Research-and-statistics/In-detail/Super-statistics/Super-accounts-data/Super-accounts-data-overview/

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This information is current as at 06/07/2015.

This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it.

Depending on your fund, there may be a fee of for accepting rollovers. Before requesting the rollover, you should also check with your other fund/s to see if there are any exit fees for moving your benefit, or other loss of benefits (e.g. insurance cover) noting that you may not receive the same type or level of benefits after the rollover. You may not be covered for injuries or illnesses that have arisen since you took out previous insurance, and you may lose loyalty benefits. Superannuation is a long-term investment. The government has placed restrictions on when you can access your preserved benefits. The Government has set caps on the amount of money you can add to superannuation each year on a concessionally taxed basis. In addition, the government has set a non-concessional contributions cap. For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or visit the ATO website.

Superannuation is a long-term investment. The government has placed restrictions on when you can access your preserved benefits.

The Government has set caps on the amount of money you can add to superannuation each year on a concessionally taxed basis. In addition, the government has set a non-concessional contributions cap. For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or visit the ATO website. Depending on your fund, there may be a fee for accepting rollovers. Before requesting the rollover, you should also check with your other fund/s to see if there are any exit fees for moving your benefit, or other loss of benefits (including insurance cover and loyalty benefits).