Consolidating your super

It's a smart idea to combine, or rollover, your super into one account. Consolidating your super makes it easier to manage and grow your money as you'll stop paying unnecessary fees and insurance premiums. At Media Super, we can help you find your lost or unclaimed super, transfer your money from an overseas super fund, and teach you how to grow your super faster.

Consolidating your super

Why consolidate your super?

If you've changed jobs a few times or regularly work on short projects, you may have accumulated multiple super accounts over the years. It's easy to lose track, but having multiple accounts is less than ideal.

Each super account will likely have administration and investment fees, which means you could be paying fees for multiple accounts. You could also be paying premiums on multiple insurance policies. A default level of insurance coverage may be automatically provided when you join a super fund. If you belong to several funds, you may be paying multiple insurance premiums.

Your fees and insurance premiums are taken out of your super balance, so over time, multiple sets of fees will eat away at your savings.

It's worth taking the time to find all your super accounts and consolidate* them into one fund. That way, you can stop paying multiple sets of super fees and keep track of one fund instead of several.

How to consolidate

It's quick and easy to bring all your super savings together in one account, and you won't be charged any exit fees by your other super funds.

You can use the 'Find my super' tool in your online account to find and combine your super accounts in just a few minutes.

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Make sure we have your Tax File Number
  3. Search!

If you prefer to do things over the phone, we also offer a phone-based service. Alternatively, you can print and complete a 'Combine and Save' form and mail it back to us.

Keep in mind that not all super funds are created equal. Before you consolidate, pick the best super fund for you.

How to find lost super

Lost super is hard to avoid if you've worked several casual and part-time jobs or moved around a lot.

Super often becomes 'lost' when someone changes their name, address, joins a new fund or simply switches jobs.

If your super fund doesn't have your current address and has been unable to contact you, and you've had no contributions or rollovers into your account in the last 12 months, your super must be treated as lost.

Funds report lost super to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) twice a year. If you've ever changed your job, name or address, you may have some lost super waiting to be found.

You can use the 'Find my super' tool in your online account to search for lost super. If you need to run an advanced search, you can do this through MoneySmart.

How to find unclaimed super

Unclaimed super is different to lost super. It refers to super that is eligible to be withdrawn, but your fund has been unable to contact you. Your account may become inactive or unclaimed if you are:

  • aged 65 or over, haven't made a contribution for the past two years and your fund hasn't been able to contact you for five years
  • a former temporary Australian resident, and it has been more than six months since you left Australia and since your visa expired
  • entitled to be paid your ex-spouse’s super in a divorce, and your fund hasn't been able to contact you
  • a lost member whose account balance is less than $6,000, or a lost member whose account has been inactive for 12 months and we are satisfied that it will never be possible to pay an amount to you.

If you are attempting to claim super on behalf of someone who is deceased, their fund may have been unable to pay benefit to their beneficiaries if the super had been marked unclaimed and the fund was not in contact with the super holder prior to their death.

To locate and consolidate your unclaimed super, visit the ATO website.

How to transfer foreign super

When you're combining super accounts, don't forget about any money you may have sitting in overseas retirement funds.

If you're migrating or returning to Australia, it may be possible to transfer your super benefits from an overseas fund to an Australian complying fund, although you may not be able to access the funds until you retire.

There are a number of conditions you must meet to transfer your overseas super and you may have to pay income tax. Full details are available on the ATO website.

We are generally able to accept foreign transfers, subject to the conditions that apply, and we don't charge a fee for contributions transferred to your Media Super account.

There are specific rules in place for transfers from United Kingdom (UK) pension funds, as well rules for transferring retirement savings between Australia and New Zealand.

Transfers to or from New Zealand – the Trans-Tasman portability rules

The Trans-Tasman Retirement Savings Portability scheme makes it possible for you to transfer your retirement savings from New Zealand to Australia (or the reverse) if you migrate.

Media Super members who permanently move to New Zealand can transfer their super benefits to a nominated retirement savings account, known as the KiwiSaver scheme.

Similarly, KiwiSaver members may be able to transfer their retirement savings to an Australian super fund if they permanently move to Australia and their Australian super fund accepts these transfers. Please note, Media Super is not able to receive KiwiSaver transfers. Please visit the KiwiSaver website for other options available.

Full details of the Trans-Tasman portability rules are available on the ATO website.

Transfers from UK pensions

There are additional special rules that apply to transferring funds from UK pension accounts to Australia.

Any money transferred from a UK registered pension scheme to an Australian super fund may be subject to a penalty tax in the UK, unless the Australian fund is a 'qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme' (QROPS). Any transfer of UK pension funds is also subject to the UK lifetime limit allowance.

Please note that Media Super is not a QROPS, so we can't accept UK pension transfers without the penalty tax applying.

Before making a transfer from a foreign account

The rules vary from country to country and can be complex. Before you make a decision to transfer any retirement savings from an overseas account, we recommend you seek tax and financial planning advice from qualified professionals who have specialist knowledge regarding the relevant country.

Detailed information is available on the ATO website.

To check if Media Super can accept transfers from a particular country or information about the process, please call the Helpline on 1800 640 886.

*Before making a decision to combine your superannuation, you should consider any costs, change to insurance cover or loss of benefits that may apply and, if necessary, consult a qualified financial adviser.

Consolidating your super

We can help you find, combine and understand your super. If you're keen to get on top of consolidating your accounts and you happen to be a Media Super member, we can handle the whole process for you, free of charge. We can also find your lost or missing super, assist you with transferring foreign pensions, and help you identify ways to increase your super balance.