$205m reasons to check financial status

HILLS residents have lost track of nearly $205 million of their superannuation.

Postcode 2153 — which covers Baulkham Hills, Bella Vista and Winston Hills — has lost $37.103 million alone, placing them 15th in the state for lost super.

Kellyville, which has lost $28 million, is in 30th position.

"SuperSeeker can help people to not only find lost super, but move money sitting in inactive accounts to one fund and save on fees and charges," Deputy Commissioner for Superannuation, Neil Olesen said.

As an Australian Taxation Office spokesman explained, lost super can occur when a person has changed their name or address and not let their super fund know, or where a person has not made contributions or a rollover to their super account in the past five years.

While lost, the money continues to be invested according to the rules of the superannuation fund where it's held.

"Therefore the [super fund] member continues to earn interest even when the account remains lost," the ATO spokesman said.

Asked how important it was to consolidate super accounts — to avoid going into negative figures due to administration costs that continue to becharged even after after a person stops contributing to their fund — he recommended seeking expert advice as there may be other considerations, including exit or withdrawal fees or the loss of insurance entitlements. If your super is sorted, there's also more than $16,000 of unclaimed money owed to Hills residents.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission handles unclaimed monies from authorised deposit-taking institutions, life insurance companies, benefit fund friendly societies and companies with unclaimed money/property.

State governments also hold unclaimed money from deceased estates, share dividends, salaries and wages, cheques, trust money, over-payments and proceeds of sale.

Details: Visit ato.gov.au/individuals/content to see if you are owed money.

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