Where ATO-held super comes from

ATO-held super may be made up of super guarantee payments, government super payments or unclaimed super from your lost super fund.

A special account is used to hold the amounts that may be owed to you.

Super guarantee

Super guarantee is the super that your employer must contribute to your super account if you are an eligible employee. If your employer has not paid the right amount of super for you, they have to pay the gap to us and we hold it on your behalf.

See also:

Government super contributions

There are two types of government contributions:

  • The super co-contribution – the government helps low- and middle-income earners boost their super savings by matching some or all of their personal contributions each year.
  • The low income super contribution (LISC) – a government payment to help low income earners save for their retirement. LISC is worked out on 15% of the concessional (before tax) super contributions you or your employer make. The maximum payment is $500 and the minimum is $10.

See also:

Unclaimed super from super funds

Your super fund must report and pay your lost super to us if you are:

  • over 65 years old, haven't made a contribution for the past two years and have been uncontactable by your fund for five years
  • deceased and your fund has been unable to pay the benefit to the rightful owner
  • a former temporary Australian resident and it has been six months since you left Australia or since your visa expired
  • entitled to be paid your ex-spouse’s super in a divorce and the fund is unable to contact you
  • a lost member whose account balance is less than $4,000
  • a lost member whose account has been inactive for 12 months and your fund does not have the information needed to make a payment to you.

If you are a beneficiary of a deceased person, you may be able to claim their unclaimed super money (refer to Payment of unclaimed super money – third party).

From 1 July 2013, interest will be payable on all unclaimed super we hold. We will pay the interest when we process your claim. Generally, you do not have to pay income tax on these interest payments.

Superannuation holding account (SHA) special account

The SHA special account is a holding account designed to protect your small super amounts until they can be transferred into a super fund or retirement savings account. It is not a trust fund or super fund.

We deposit co-contributions or super guarantee payments that have not been paid to a fund, into the SHA special account.

Up to 30 June 2006, the SHA special account also accepted payments on your behalf from employers who could not find a super fund to accept their contributions.

If there has been no account activity for 10 years, it becomes an inactive account.

    Last modified: 05 Sep 2016QC 25544