Almost half of all working Australians have more than one superannuation account, with Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) figures showing they pay $532 a year on average in fees and charges for a low cost account, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) revealed.
ATO assistant commissioner of super John Shepherd said there is $5.8 billion worth of unconsolidated accounts for people who have lost track or have not updated contact details with their funds when they moved houses.
The ATO is urging workers to consolidate multiple accounts in one account through the myGov online portal, especially when they open new super accounts after starting a new job instead of taking their existing fund with them.
"If you tried consolidating your super in the past and gave up frustrated, consider trying again," the ATO said.
Shepherd said more than 265,000 accounts with balances of $1.13 billion were consolidated in the six months to December 2014, with 17 accounts consolidated in one case.
"This is a rise of 400 per cent from the six months to December 2013 when 52,000 accounts worth more than $270 million were consolidated," Shepherd said.
Members should check any insurance cover with each fund as it will be cancelled when they close their accounts. They should also make sure super funds have their tax file number to pay less tax and for super accounts to be displayed online.