In the past, any superannuation accounts with balances of less than $200 could be claimed by the ATO on the basis that they had been inactive for 5 years.
In 2013, the ATO has become more active, by increasing the threshold from $200 to $2,000 unless a contribution has been made in the last 12 months.
Two positive outcomes from this depending on where you sit:
- Wit a government currently in deficit, it will help to improve their short term budget position.
- The member may actually benefit from this, due to fees charged by super funds are most likely to exceed any earnings being made.
These changes will effectively reduce the number of superannuation accounts with unidentified members. Funds will have an incentive to stay in touch with members and ensure they make contributions.
If your money is claimed by the ATO, all is not lost. Individuals can reclaim superannuation accounts transferred to the ATO. It gets better, the ATO will now start paying interest on these reclaimed funds linked to the consumer price index.
DISCLAIMER: The above is general advice only, you should not act on this advice without consulting a professional adviser to discuss your personal circumstances.