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  • 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.

    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 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.

    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).

    See also:

    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.

      Last modified: 19 Mar 2018QC 25544