Thousands hunt for forgotten monies

FIDO, ASIC's consumer information web site for people to trace lost monies, has been swamped: by Friday afternoon the site had received 40,000 hits. But the more than $220 million that ASIC is holding in forgotten bank accounts, shares and life insurance policies is dwarfed by the Australian Taxation Office's Lost Members Register for missing superannuation fund members.

When a super fund can't contact a member, his or her details are passed on to the ATO and added to its register. The ATO now has 4.5 million super accounts on the register worth over $7 billion. The average balance on each account is $1,600.

The Tax Office is planning a drive next month to reunite people with their lost super moneys and says that the most typical register member is someone who changes jobs regularly, such as young people. The ATO is urging anyone who thinks they have lost track of super money to contact their current fund and get them to search for it.

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