The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has published the postcodes with the most lost super in Australia, with Mackay and surrounding areas coming out with well over $49 million sitting around in superannuation accounts.
The total lost superannuation is a staggering $11.7 billion.
The postcodes with the highest amount of lost super are:
- Mackay and surrounding areas - 4740 - $49,256,340.55
- Cairns and surrounding areas - 4870 - $49,101,868.85
- Toowoomba and surrounding areas - 4350 - $45,276,433.24
- Liverpool and surrounding areas - 2170 - $37,714,680.99
- Werribee and surrounding areas - 3030 - $35,531,341.07
- Sydney CBD - 2000 - $35,055,841.48
- Surry Hills and surrounding areas - 2010 - $34,721,863.97
- Gladstone and surrounding areas - 4680 - $33,692,141.19
- Bondi and surrounding areas - 2026 - $32,960,830.35
- Campbelltown and surrounding areas - 2560 - $31,283,983.25
Any super balance less than $4,000 is transferred to the ATO after a certain period of time.
Lost super isn't the only money sitting in government bank accounts - over a billion dollars in unclaimed insurance payouts, shares, investments, and abandoned bank account balances exist in limbo.
At the end of 2015, the threshold for transferring of 'lost super' increased from $2,000 to $4,000, with another rise expected at the end of 2016 to $6,000. This means that any account with a 'low' balance of soon-to-be $6,000 will be transferred to the government, which could remove insurance protections from many people who are using their super balance to pay for insurance, whether they have contributions coming in or not.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has released a statement saying that they have concerns about the government transferring these accounts into a big bank account, since they do not offer investments, but the money just sits there, accruing interest for the government and offering them a pool of funds, while the member who owns the money - especially the higher balances at $4,000 and $6,000 - have no investments.