MORE than $37 million in lost superannuation is waiting to be claimed across the south-west.
New statistics released by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on Saturday show there are 4450 inactive superannuation accounts in the region.
The average balance waiting to be claimed in each account is $8457.
Warrnambool people are the biggest losers, failing to claim nearly $10 million in lost funds, while Portland has just over $6.5 million in unclaimed superannuation and Hamilton nearly $3 million.
The ATO has calculated the national figure of unclaimed superannuation at $14 billion.
Assistant commissioner John Shepherd said it was particularly concerning that billions of dollars were sitting in super accounts where funds had lost contact with the owner.
“There’s over $6 billion of super sitting in accounts where funds have not been kept up-to-date with changes to personal details,” said Mr Shepherd.
“It’s easy for this to happen because when people get married or move house, the last thing on their mind is updating their name and address details with a super fund.
“It is also important to make sure your super fund has your tax file number, this will allow us to display your super accounts online and help reunite you with your super.”
An additional $8 billion in super is sitting in accounts that have not received a contribution in five years or more.
Mr Shepherd said more than 40 per cent of super account holders had more than one account.
“Many of these additional accounts have not received a contribution for quite some time, and those with small balances can be eroded by super fund fees and charges.”
To check if you have any lost or ATO held super accounts, register with myGov and link to the ATO, he said.
“After you’ve electronically lodged your tax return, it only takes a minute to use SuperSeeker and check out whether you have any accounts that can be rolled into your main one.”
The biggest losers with unclaimed superannuation
Warrnambool - 1264 accounts; $9.95 million.
Portland - 626; $6.69 million
Hamilton - 441; $2.89 million.
Terang district - 202; $1.79 million.
Camperdown - 218; $1.74 million.
Dartmoor and Heywood - 137; $1.16 million
Timboon district - 128; $1.23 million
Port Fairy - 166; $1.13 million
Source: Australian Taxation Office.