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Frequently asked questions

 

About AUSfund

What is AUSfund? 

AUSfund is a special type of superannuation fund known as Eligible Rollover Fund (ERF). Its purpose is to look after money transferred from other regulated superannuation funds (or the Australia Taxation Office) because a member has become ‘lost’ or ‘inactive’.

More than 35 super funds transfer their members’ inactive and unclaimed accounts to AUSfund. Your account can become inactive or unclaimed if:

  • a super fund  that you have an account with has lost contact with you because you changed your address or your name and you did not notify them, or
  • you did not nominate where you wanted your super benefit to go after leaving an employer, or
  • you have received a portion of a former spouse’s super following divorce a settlement.

If you did not inform your former super fund of a change to your address, you may not know that you have an AUSfund account as other super funds can transfer members’ funds to an ERF like AUSfund without your prior consent.

Read more about AUSfund.

Which super funds transfer inactive accounts to AUSfund? 

View a list of all the funds which transfer inactive accounts to AUSfund.

Can I contribute to AUSfund? 

No, AUSfund has not been able to accept contributions from members or employers since 1 January, 2014.

However, you can opt to transfer your funds to AUSfund, i.e. park them with us, when you are not actively contributing to your super account.

Important note: AUSfund does not provide insurance cover or investment choice.

Can my AUSfund account be eroded by fees? 

Yes. All members are charged an annual $14 Administration Fee. This means that the interest earned on small accounts may be insufficient to cover the Administration Fee. 

Do I need to provide a Tax File Number? 

While it is not a legal requirement to provide AUSfund with your Tax File Number (TFN), it is important to do so to avoid paying additional tax when you claim a benefit. You can provide your TFN and consent to use your TFN to search the ATO for other super monies here.

What is AUSfund’s identification number? 

AUSfund's Superannuation Product Identification Number (SPIN) and Unique Superannuation Identifier (USI) is APF0100AU.

About super

Am I entitled to receive super from my employer? 

If you are employed and earn at least $450 per month (before tax) and you are aged over 18, your employer is required to make regular superannuation contributions on your behalf equal to 9.5%* of your ordinary time earnings from 1 July 2014. This is called the Super Guarantee (SG).

This figure of 9.5% is the minimum requirement established by law. However, some Awards, Industrial Agreements or employment contracts may establish a higher contribution level than the SG, but they cannot offer less. Read more about super.

*The superannuation guarantee (SG) rate is expected to gradually increase from 9.5% to 12% in future years.
When can I withdraw my super? 

If your AUSfund balance is under $200 you can request a payment to your bank account. See Transfer your super out of AUSfund for details.

Other situations that allow you (or, in some cases, your beneficiaries) to withdraw all or some of your superannuation include:

  • You have reached your preservation age but you are aged less than 60. You have also declared that you are leaving the workforce and have no intention of becoming gainfully employed again.
  • You attain age 65.
  • You were a temporary resident and have permanently left Australia.
  • You are suffering financial hardship or consider you have compassionate grounds to claim a benefit. A portion of money may be released in very limited circumstances.
  • Your death or permanent incapacity.

Further details are available on the relevant forms or contact us for assistance.

What is the definition of gainfully employed for accessing your super*?  

Under the legislation, you’re no longer gainfully employed when:

  • An arrangement under which you were gainfully employed has come to an end. This may have occurred at any time, including prior to your preservation age; and
  • The Trustee is reasonably satisfied that you intend never again to become gainfully employed.for 10 hours or more each week.
*Note: the definition of 'gainfully employed' when accessing your super is different from the definition applied in respect of contributing to super.

About lost and unclaimed super

How does super become lost? 

Super accounts often become ‘lost’ if your fund loses contact with you. Some of the most common reasons for this are if you have:

  • changed jobs and your super contributions are now being paid to another superannuation fund;  
  • had more than one job at the one time and super was being paid into different accounts by each employer;  
  • moved house and forgot to notify your new address with the fund; 
  • changed your name as a result of marriage or divorce; or
  • worked in Australia as a temporary resident and since left Australia.
If the fund does not have a current address for you and mail is returned to them, or if they have not received a contribution for you for a set period of time, they may transfer your super benefits to an Eligible Rollover Fund (ERF) or to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
Does 'lost' mean that my super money has gone? 

No. When the term 'lost' is used, it means that the super fund has lost contact with you, not that your funds have disappeared. ‘Lost’ super accounts may be transferred to ERF’s such as AUSfund or to the ATO.

What is an Eligible Rollover Fund (ERF)? 

An ERF is a temporary repository for amounts transferred from other regulated super funds. 

ERFs do not offer choice of investment and your money will be invested in one pool. ERFs have not been able to accept contributions from members or employers since 1 January, 2014.

If you have received mail or statements from a fund that you believe is an ERF, you should contact them directly to discuss your options or to arrange to the transfer the account into an active account with your fund of choice.

How can I find my lost super? 
I think that I have 'lost' super but can’t find it with AUSfund or ATO - what should I do? 

If you believe you have lost super but cannot find it on either the AUSfund or ATO searches, you should first ensure you are using the details that were current at the time you lost your super:

  1. If your name has changed, you might try searching using your old name.
  2. If you still cannot find your super, try to find any old statements from your previous fund and then contact them directly. They may not know that they have out-of-date details for you.
  3. If you can’t remember which fund your super was paid into, contact your former employer or colleagues to find out the name of the super fund and then contact the fund directly.
  4. Contact AUSfund Customer Service Centre on 1300 361 798 and discuss your problem. The information you provide might help them to find your money.
What is unclaimed super? 

Super accounts are often parked in an ERF like AUSfund because they are 'inactive'. Accounts become inactive because contributions are no longer being sent to the account. This might occur because a member has:

  • changed jobs and a new super account has been opened in another super fund;  
  • gone overseas to live;  
  • become unemployed;  
  • changed name and opened a new account;  
  • gone on maternity leave;  
  • gone on study leave;  
  • become self-employed and ceased making contributions; or
  • ceased employment temporarily or permanently due to age, disability or other reason.

 

Consolidate your super

How do I transfer my money out of AUSfund? 

Depending on your circumstances you may be able to claim a cash payment, or transfer your benefit into your active super fund account. Read more about transferring your super out of AUSfund.

Why should I transfer my money out of AUSfund? 

Consolidating super accounts avoids multiple sets of fees and charges. AUSfund does not offer additional member services that may be of value to you including insurance or investment choice. Therefore, moving your super out of your AUSfund account into your active super account may be a better option. Read more.

If I don’t have an active super fund, how do I claim my super? 

If you do not know if you have another super account, please check with your current or previous employers which fund(s) they made super contributions to on your behalf. If you cannot find another active super fund, you can set up a new one.

I was a temporary resident and have since left Australia - can I claim my super? 

It will depend on your personal circumstances. First, contact your super fund to see if they still hold your super on your behalf. 

If you do not claim your benefit within six months of the date that you depart Australia, your previous fund (or AUSfund) is required by law to transfer your super to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). AUSfund will not issue an exit statement for benefits transferred to the ATO via this mechanism.

You may be able to claim a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) online at www.ato.gov.au/departaustralia

If you have moved to New Zealand indefinitely or permanently and you have a KiwiSaver Scheme account, you can apply to transfer the whole balance of your super to that account. For details, please read the fact sheet and complete the claim form attached.

I no longer live in Australia - can I withdraw my super? 

If you entered Australia as a temporary resident and have since departed, you may be able to withdraw your super. See the above question. 

If you are a permanent resident who has moved overseas, in most situations you will need to wait until you meet a condition of release to be able to withdraw your super.

Can I access my super before retirement? 

Generally, no. Super funds are normally preserved until you reach retirement age. However, there are limited situations, such as financial hardship and other personal circumstances which may allow you early access. For more information see the Department of Human Services website.

If your AUSfund balance is under $200, you may be able to claim it now by using our quick, online transfer out tool or by completing the Balance Under $200 Payment Form. Any payment made will be by direct credit to a nominated bank account.
What if I’m over 65 or looking for money from a deceased estate? 

If you are looking for funds associated with a deceased estate within AUSfund please contact us

Super accounts for men 65 years or over and women 60 years or over and money from deceased estates are frequently transferred to the ATO . If you looking for these funds please contact the ATO.
If I face financial hardship can I access the funds in my AUSfund account? 

The Government has strict rules that apply to the release of super money on the basis of financial hardship.

The financial hardship provision is intended to permit the release of super to relieve an immediate financial difficulty. The threshold rule for accessing super in this circumstance is the requirement that the applicant has been in receipt of a government income support payment continuously for the previous 26 weeks and is still in receipt of the payment at the time of application. For more details visit the Department of Human Services website. 

If a financial hardship claim is accepted it might be restricted to only a portion of the super benefit in order to cover the immediate difficulty. Contact us if you think this applies to you.

What is Cross Fund Matching? 

We’re committed to reuniting members with their active super accounts. If we find an active account in your name with one of our participating funds we will write to you before rolling over your benefit to your active account.

If you do not wish us to undertake cross fund matching services on your behalf, or transfer your AUSfund benefits to an active super account in your name, you need to make this request in writing: PO Box 543, Carlton South VIC 3053 or via email at admin@ausfund.net.au. Please include your AUSfund member number.

Can I leave my super in AUSfund? 

Yes. You can leave your super in AUSfund for as long as you wish. However, you should be aware that AUSfund does not offer insurance or investment choice and cannot accept member or employer contributions. Please ensure that you keep your address current so we can send you Annual Statements and other important information.

Can I transfer super into AUSfund? 

Yes, you can transfer super to AUSfund at any time. Simply complete a transfer super to AUSfund form.