When setting up your SMSF for the first time, you want to make sure you can get every possible cent into your fund to maximise the benefits of your SMSF.
Virtually all SMSFs will start their lives with a roll-over from your existing main super fund, but do you know about any other super funds you have sitting out there?
According to recent reports there is over $13 billion worth of unclaimed or lost superannuation out there. If some of it is yours, your SMSF would be glad to welcome it home!
These other funds are commonly referred to as ‘lost super’, and you definitely want to be tracking them all down and rolling them into your SMSF.
There are a number of ways you can find your lost super:
Check Your Files
The first thing you can do to find extra money to roll into your SMSF is to check through your old files.
If you’ve only worked at a few different companies, or have been diligent in rolling over your funds in the past, this could be a very easy job. But if you’ve had lots of different jobs and lots of different super funds, this could be a big job!
Getting your money rolled into your SMSF will be a lot easier if you can find documentation for your old super funds, as they will contain account numbers and other information required for the SMSF rollover.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) have their own free service that helps taxpayers to find their lost or unclaimed super.
The process is fairly easy and can be completed by phone, paper, or the most convenient way which is is via the SuperSeeker website.
To complete the process you will need to have your Tax File Number (TFN) along with other basic details such as your name and date of birth.
It is important to remember that the SuperSeeker website only locates super which has been listed on the ‘lost members’ register. If you have super funds laying around that aren’t necessarily ‘lost’, but just that you’ve forgotten about, then they will not show up in the search.
So just because the SuperSeeker service doesn’t list any other super accounts for you, it does not necessarily mean that you don’t have other super funds laying around that can be rolled into your SMSF.
There are plenty of other online services that claim to be able to located all of your old superannuation funds. We cannot recommend any of these services, but a few of the main players include:
If using these or any other lost super service, make sure that part of their service doesn’t require that you roll the funds into one of their own products. You are better off paying a flat fee and keeping the ability to roll the lost funds into your own SMSF.
Using Lost Super to Grow your SMSF
In today’s volatile share market you need to fight for every cent of growth in your fund. If you can grow your SMSF simply by finding a few small (or large) lost super funds out there, that has to be a good thing for you and your retirement plans.