The Big Money Grab

By Jason Fittler

I have written about the changes to lost super and lost bank account previously.

With the end of the financial year happening this week now is a great time to turn your attention to these issues.

Go now and find the old super statements and bank statements and make sure that these funds do not get sent off to the Government.

Below is a reminder of what changes are coming in, many people will get caught short please forward this note on to make sure family and friends are aware of the changes and take steps to protect their money.

Lost Super

There is estimated to be around $17 billion in lost and unclaimed super sitting in 6.1 million lost or unclaimed super accounts.

Super becomes lost because, among other causes, members change jobs or addresses without telling their funds.

From January 2013, the account balance threshold for lost accounts will be increased from the current threshold of $200 to $2,000.

This means that super funds will be required to transfer lost accounts with balances of up to $2,000 to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The ATO will then use its data-matching capabilities, including tax file numbers, to help reunite the money with its owners.

From July 2013, Super funds will be required to transfer the accounts of unidentifiable members to the ATO after 12-months of inactivity where they are confident that they will never be able to pay an amount to the member in future.

At present, super funds are required to transfer these accounts after they’ve been inactive for five years or the member is not contactable.

If you have a small super balance, (you know that annoying statement which comes once a year go find it) give us a call and let’s make sure it is rolled over into your current super before it is lost.

Sure you will be able to get it back from the ATO but there will be hoops to jump through.

Lost Bank Accounts

Money may be identified as unclaimed after a period of 3 years (previously 7 years). This may occur, for example, where you do not deposit or withdraw money from a bank account for a period of 3 years or more. The payment of fees or the receipt of interest are, is not considered to be withdrawals or deposits.

Unclaimed money records that fall under the new unclaimed money definition may not be provided to ASIC by the relevant institutions until 31 May 2013.

From 1 July 2013 when unclaimed money is paid to a claimant, the Commonwealth of Australia will also pay interest to the claimant. The amount of interest and the method of calculating the interest will be determined by Regulations (which are yet to be released).

If you make a claim to ASIC for unclaimed money they will only pay interest on claims processed after 1 July 2013 and the interest is only calculated from 1 July 2013 onwards.

For more information please contact us on 07 4771 4577.