22 September 2017
Transcript - #2017033, 2017

Interview with Leon Byner, FIVEaa

SUBJECTS: lost superannuation

LEON BYNER:

Kelly thanks for joining us today.

KELLY O’DWYER:

Great to be with you Leon.

LEON BYNER:

What’s the South Australian contribution to lost or unclaimed super?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well it’s just under $1 billion and we’ve got suburbs in South Australia like Paralawie, $22 million, Morphett Vale, $17 million, Aberfoyle Park, Chandlers Hill, Flagstaff Hill and Happy Valley, it’s about $15 million, and just in the CBD, where I am at the moment, it’s around about $11 million. So there are a whole heap of people out there who’ve changed jobs, moved house, haven’t updated their details, who’ve actually lost out on their money and that’s the most critical point, Leon, that this superannuation money is the deferred wages of hardworking Australians and they deserve to have access to their own money.

LEON BYNER:

Now I’m going to ask you a couple of questions. How do you get to know which suburbs have people that are owed a certain amount of money as you’ve described?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well I asked the Australian Taxation Office to give me a bit of a breakdown on the postcodes where that might be and that’s what they’ve been able to come up with, which is why I’ve been able to give you those figures.

LEON BYNER:

Alright. Let’s do something a little hip parade-ish here. Number one suburb on the charts is?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well it’s actually Paralawie.

LEON BYNER:

Paralawie?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Yes.

LEON BYNER:

And that figure is?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Over $22 million.

LEON BYNER:

So if you live at Paralawie there could be money, and substantial, so do we know how many people this would be across?

KELLY O’DWYER:

So it’s across, in Paralawie, it’s around about 4,600 accounts.

LEON BYNER:

So some of those people could be owed thousands?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Indeed. That’s right. And this is what’s so important to know that you can call up the ATO’s super helpline, which is 13 10 20, to request a direct claim or transfer. You can log on to MyGov and you can find out whether you’ve got some of these lost accounts, and you can just do it electronically and you’re able to reunite with your money. We really want people to reunite with the money that is their money and we want to put in place a better system where people actually don’t lose track of their money because we don’t have multiple accounts being created.

LEON BYNER:

Minister, do the superannuation companies have an obligation, or does it occur to them that it would be nice to contact the people, or do they know that some of their clients are owed and they just wait for them to contact them?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well if one was being a bit cynical one might say that some of these funds do wait for a period of time because, as you can see, there’s over $14 billion of lost super there.

LEON BYNER:

You don’t say.

KELLY O’DWYER:

And this is why it is important to actually make sure that when people do change jobs that they can choose their fund, that they can either keep their fund or choose a new fund, they’re not creating multiple accounts with multiple sets of fees, multiple insurance premiums, that’s the quickest thing that’s going to erode somebody’s retirement savings. We’ve been really clear on bringing into the Parliament some new legislation that will help with that, will actually help protect members’ money.

LEON BYNER:

Alright Paralawie is number one, let’s go through number two. Who’s number two?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Morphett Vale, just under $18 million.

LEON BYNER:

Goodness. This is incredible.

KELLY O’DWYER:

Yeah, it’s a lot of money.

LEON BYNER:

You mentioned the CBD with $11 million is that right?

KELLY O’DWYER:

$11 million, well over $11.5 million actually and that’s around about 2,400 people.

LEON BYNER:

Goodness. And again, how high could some of these accounts be?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well some of them could be very significant. In fact, what I’ll do for you, Leon, for your program tomorrow, I’ll let you know what the highest amount might be in South Australia and what the lowest might be so that you can let your listeners know.

LEON BYNER:

This is kind of like a lottery that you’re never put in the draw for.

KELLY O’DWYER:

Except that people have actually worked incredibly hard for this money.

LEON BYNER:

Absolutely.

KELLY O’DWYER:

Don’t forget, under our compulsory system right now, just under 10 per cent of your wages is put into superannuation and it’s not employer money, it’s your money.

LEON BYNER:

Now what happens if somebody is owed money and they’re deceased?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well their estate, in those circumstances, potentially would be able to receive that money.

LEON BYNER:

The state?

KELLY O’DWYER:

The estate. So their children…

LEON BYNER:

The executor would need to check though, obviously.

KELLY O’DWYER:

They would need to check.

LEON BYNER:

So really, it’s something we need to do as a matter of urgency. So what information do you need to give when you call, where a person at the other end says – guess what Mary, you’ve got $10,000.

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well probably the best way to check it is to get onto MyGov, which links to the ATO services and then it takes you through exactly what information needs to be provided to work out whether in fact you’ve got any lost superannuation.

LEON BYNER:

Alright, I’ll tell you what we’ll do. Let’s see whether we can get a marriage tomorrow of people and their lost money.

KELLY O’DWYER:

Yep, sounds good.

LEON BYNER:

If you could let us know, and that’s Kelly O’Dwyer, the financial services minister. Isn’t it amazing that there is nearly $1 billion, which would work out about 85 cents for every man woman and child in SA, or certainly in the city, and probably more if it’s within regional. Very interesting stuff.