The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Nick Sherry

Nick Sherry

Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law

3 December 2007 - 8 June 2009

Media Release of 08/12/2008


Lost Superannuation Problem Highlighted in Cairns

Up to 45,322 residents of Cairns have a lost superannuation account, totalling $75.2 million in lost money, due to inefficiencies in the super system ignored by the former Coalition Government, according to Senator Nick Sherry, Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law.

Senator Sherry is visiting Cairns to hold a series of meetings with key Indigenous leaders and service providers on financial literacy issues and programs but took the opportunity to highlight the lost superannuation problem for all local residents.

"The Rudd Labor Government came to office promising to fix the lost superannuation problem after 12 years of the Liberal Party either doing nothing or misunderstanding the problem.

"The Rudd Government has recently released a discussion paper on the implementation of its proposed Superannuation Clearing House for small business, which includes options for solving the lost super problem.

"One option to reunite Australians with their lost super accounts is to use tax file numbers to automatically roll together lost accounts, including those of tens of thousands of people here in Cairns," said Senator Sherry.

"At the moment, individuals have to find the fund, fill in forms, provide proof of identity – it is too hard, too time consuming and there is too much red tape, so people just give up."

The lost superannuation accounts of Cairns residents are part of the 6.4 million lost accounts totalling $12.9 billion Australia-wide. The total number of lost member accounts rose by 315,325 or 5.2 per cent between 2006/07 and 2007/08.

8 December 2008