Would you go out for a coffee and leave $10,000 on the table because you forgot? Of course you wouldn’t, and if you did, you would go back and get it! Then why are so many of us losing track of our superannuation accounts and potential insurance that they usually carry?
At 30 June 2016, over 14.8 million Australians had a superannuation fund and approximately 43% of these people have more than one account. There is a total of over 5.7 million lost accounts and ATO held accounts with a total value of just over $14 billion.
As people change jobs more regularly, and/or hold down numerous part-time jobs, it is easy to suddenly find that you may have several superannuation funds open. Perhaps the fact that superannuation money is automatically taken out of your pay before you see it is the reason why so many people aren’t taking more care and interest in their super balances and the insurances that it may hold.
Is there insurance in my super fund?
Most likely! Most superannuation funds come with insurance coverage, it is designed to protect and help you (and your loved ones) in a time of need. Most superannuation funds hold insurance, this insurance is paid for by the fund – it may be Death Cover (commonly known as life insurance) or Total and Permanent Disability (TPD).
Death Cover (Life Insurance) pays a benefit to your beneficiaries when you die, either as a lump sum or as an income stream. It is important to note that your nominated beneficiary(s) within super is separate from your beneficiary(s) listed in your will. Let me give you an example: you have an ex-partner from 15 years ago listed as the beneficiary of a lost super fund and the insurance payout is $150,000, so your ex-partner gets it! Regardless of what your will says.
Total and Permanent Disability (TDP) pays a benefit if you become seriously ill or disabled and are unlikely to work again. None of us would wish this upon anyone, however the reality of life is that things like this happen and any insurance benefit would be of great assistance to you.
Find my lost super!
Superannuation is a retirement fund for the future. Apart from owning a house, this will be the largest investment and insurance policy many Australian’s hold, making it even more important that you look after what is yours. Included in many superannuation accounts is insurance, which needs to have nominated beneficiaries regularly reviewed to ensure the recipients are indeed the loved ones you wish to receive this part of your estate.
Go to the ATO’s SuperSeeker website to reclaim your lost super accounts and come and talk to us if there is some to claim.
Pat Mannix, Partner, Paris Financial
Follow me on Twitter @mannix_pat
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net