Well that got your attention! What are we talking about? We definitely don’t have spare cash to throw out to you all but the Government might. I know this sounds very fishy – especially when I say that the Government wants to give you money but it is true for some of us.
How long have you been working? 5 years? 10 years? 30 years? And how many superannuation funds have you had along the way? What about that job years ago that you had for 6 months? Working at McDonalds didn’t agree with you but they may have paid you superannuation and where is it now? Superannuation legislation for employers to make compulsory superannuation contributions came in in 1992 and since then, people have had fund after fund and are losing funds at a staggering rate.
In 2011 a Westpac survey found that there was a massive $19 billion in unclaimed superannuation in Australia, with $4.7 billion here in Victoria alone. The report also showed that the areas with the largest amount of lost super included Brandon Park, Glen Waverley and Wheelers Hill with a total of around $57 million from these suburbs alone. Workers and retirees in the western suburbs of Werribee and Point Cook have about $53 million waiting to be claimed, while Fountain Gate and Narre Warren residents are missing just over $50 million.
These staggering figures show the need to keep track of your funds. So if you’re thinking that you could have some lost super from the days as the mail clerk or even before you left work to have your kids, then you need to click onto the ATO’s SuperSeeker website. It is a secure, convenient service designed to track and find your super accounts.
So that’s one way to get free money from the Government and I hear you asking what’s the other? The answer: by checking for lost cash, insurance policies with balances and shares. The ATO have records of more than $670 million in lost funds (outside of superannuation listed above). So if you’ve moved house and you think you once held some shares in Billabong that your grandmother gave you, you might be lucky enough to find them again (OK, so if you had Billabong shares, they’re probably better lost – but if you had Commonwealth Bank shares, now that’s one that you’d hope to find).
All you have to do for this one is log on to the moneysmart.gov.au website and type in your name. Within seconds you could be $10 or $1,000 richer, or no richer but feel comfortable knowing that you’ve not lost any of your hard earned cash.
And that’s the other way to get free money from the Government. Well, technically it’s your money anyway, you might have just lost track of it. In any case, it takes a couple of minutes to check and you might find some money you didn’t realise you had.