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  • Superannuation system

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    Superannuation is a specifically designed long-term investment vehicle for individuals' retirement savings. The retirement income system includes:

    • a compulsory element of superannuation, the superannuation guarantee - this requires employers to contribute a minimum level to their employees' superannuation accounts
    • a voluntary level of superannuation encouraged by tax concessions and the government's co-contribution scheme, and
    • the age pension and associated social security arrangements that provide an income safety net for retirees.

    The ATO plays a major role in administering the compulsory and voluntary elements of the superannuation system. During the period covered by these statistics, the ATO has responsibility for:

    • income tax on superannuation funds (reported in chapter 4)
    • the other income tax aspects of superannuation
    • the superannuation guarantee
    • the superannuation holding accounts special account
    • the lost members register
    • unclaimed superannuation monies
    • departing Australia superannuation payments
    • the regulation of self-managed superannuation funds
    • the co-contributions system
    • excess contributions tax on individuals
    • the superannuation contributions surcharge, and
    • the termination payments surcharge.

    An increasing number of Australians are directly affected by Australia's superannuation system tax regime. By 30 June 2008, approximately 93% of employees had some form of superannuation. There were:

    • approximately 1.35 million registered employers
    • 394,206 superannuation funds, and
    • $1,172 billion in total assets held by superannuation funds.

    As at 30 June 2007, there were approximately 30.4 million member superannuation accounts. During the 2006-07 financial year there were:

    • $56.3 billion in member contributions
    • $64.7 billion in employer contributions, and
    • $41.1 billion in member benefit payments.

    For information reported by superannuation funds for the 2006-07 income year, see Chapter 4.

    OVERVIEW

    During the 2007-08 financial year:

    • the number of self-managed superannuation funds grew by 8.7% while the total value of assets held by these funds grew by an estimated 7.0%
    • there were 1.3 million co-contribution entitlements determined and paid, totalling $1.2 billion, and
    • the lost members register continued to grow with the total value of lost accounts increasing by 8.4%, from $11.9 billion on 30 June 2007 to $12.9 billion on 30 June 2008.
     
      Last modified: 18 Mar 2009QC 21490