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  • ATO-held super

    Reuniting Australians with their super – a new law to protect your superannuation savings starts from 1 July 2019. Super providers will be required to pay inactive low-balance accounts to the ATO. We will also be able to proactively reunite unclaimed super money we hold for you into one of your active super accounts. Check or subscribe to our ‘What’s New’ for the latest updates.

    ATO-held super includes amounts paid to us by employers, super funds, retirement savings accounts (RSA) or the government on your behalf that needs to go into your super.

    If your super fund/RSA can't contact you, or we are unable to find an account to transfer the money to, we will hold it for you.

    Your super fund will transfer your super to us if:

    • you are a temporary resident who has left Australia for 6 months or more
    • your visa is no longer in effect
    • have not claimed your Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP).

    If we hold your super, you can claim it from us.

    To find out if you have ATO-held super, use our online services for individuals. You will need a myGov account linked to the ATO.

    You can use our online services to:

    • view details of all your reported super accounts, including any you have lost track of
    • combine multiple super accounts by transferring your super, including ATO-held super, into your preferred eligible super account – if this is a fund-to-fund transfer it will generally be actioned within three working days
    • withdraw your ATO-held super and put it into your bank account – if you meet certain conditions.

    Next steps:

    Find out about:

    See also:

    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.

    We first attempt to identify if you have an active super fund that accepts government payments. If the money can't be paid to an active super fund or Retirement savings account (RSA) the ATO-held super will be transferred to a Superannuation holding account (SHA) special account.

    Super guarantee

    Super guarantee is the super 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

    • 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. The LISC is 15% of the concessional (before tax) super contributions you or your employer pays into your super fund for the 2012–13 to the 2016–17 financial years where your income does not exceed $37,000. The maximum payment is $500 and the minimum is $10.
    • The low income superannuation tax offset (LISTO) – from 1 July 2017, the Government will introduce the LISTO to assist low income earners save for their retirement. Individuals with income up to $37,000 may be eligible to receive a refund into their super account to offset the tax paid on their concessional super contributions. The offset will be 15% of your concessional contributions, up to a cap of $500.

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    Unclaimed super from super funds

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

    • over 65 years old, haven't made a contribution for the past two years and your fund has been unable to contact you 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 $6,000
    • 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
    • a member whose account is an inactive low-balance account.

    If you are a beneficiary of a deceased person, you may be able to claim their unclaimed super money.

    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.

    Note: Interest on unclaimed super accounts is calculated using the consumer price index (CPI).

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    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 government super 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.

    Transferring ATO-held super to your super account

    Member initiated transfers

    If we're holding ATO-held super for you, use our online services to nominate the super fund you would like to transfer the money to. This is the quickest way to transfer any ATO-held super to your preferred fund. To do this you'll need a myGov account linked to the ATO.

    To link the ATO to your myGov account:

    • log in or create a myGovExternal Link account
    • link your myGov account to the ATO
    • select Super
    • you can then find and choose to transfer your super.

    Note: If you can't use our online services you can phone us.

    ATO initiated transfers

    From 1 July 2019, we can transfer certain types of ATO-held super to an eligible active super account on your behalf. This will only happen where you have not made a request to transfer ATO-held super to your preferred super fund.

    The types of ATO-held super we can transfer include the following categories of unclaimed super money:

    • Small lost member accounts
    • Insoluble lost member accounts
    • Inactive low-balance accounts

    An eligible active super account is a super account that:

    • is open
    • in accumulation phase
    • accepts Government rollovers
    • has received a contribution in the current or previous financial year, and
    • the balance of the active super account after the ATO initiated transfer of certain types of ATO-held super is equal to or greater than $6,000.

    Where possible, you will be notified if we transfer ATO-held super to an eligible active super on your behalf.

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    Withdrawing your ATO-held super

    You may be able to withdraw your ATO-held super if you meet certain conditions.

    There are two ways to check if you are eligible and withdraw your super – use our ATO Online services or complete a paper form.

    Use our online services for individuals

    You can use our ATO Online services to check if you are eligible and, if so, withdraw your ATO-held super and have it paid into your bank account via electronic funds transfer (EFT) or cheque.

    Next steps:

    Complete a paper form

    You can apply for withdrawal of your ATO-held super using a paper claim form. If required to support your application, you can use the Individual retired due to permanent disability or terminal medical condition – supporting documentation, form.

    How to get these forms

    Download these forms at Application for payment of ATO-held superannuation money.

    Temporary resident claims

    If you are a temporary resident who has left Australia and your visa has ceased to be in effect, you can claim your super as a Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP).

    Refer to the link below for more information on how you can claim DASP.

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    Statement of accounts for ATO-held super

    You may receive a statement of account (SOA) for your ATO-held super.

    Your SOA provides a list of transactions processed during the statement period. It shows your current account balances and any amounts due and payable for each super type or role within your ATO super account.

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    Last modified: 29 Mar 2019QC 25544