ATO Held Super – Returning it to Owners

It’s possible the Australian Tax Office (ATO) may be holding some of your super that you or your primary superannuation fund may benefit from. At present the ATO is actively trying to return this money to individuals or their main super fund.

Recently enacted legislation aims to ensure more money held in old, lost or inactive super accounts is returned to its rightful owner.  As part of this process, Eligible Rollover Funds (ERFVs) are being closed and they will be required to report many of their accounts to the ATO and transfer the balances by June 30.

Super fund providers will be required to relinquish funds to the ATO if any of the following applies:

  • you are aged 65 years or over, haven’t made a contribution for the past two years and your fund has been unable to contact you for five years
  • the individual is deceased, and the fund has been unable to pay the benefit to the rightful owner
  • you are a former temporary Australian resident, and it has been six months since you left Australia or since your visa expired
  • you are entitled to be paid your ex-spouse’s super in a divorce, and the fund is unable to contact you
  • you are a lost member whose account balance is less than $6,000
  • you are 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
  • you are a member whose account is an inactive low-balance account
  • you are a member of an eligible rollover fund
  • you are a member on whose behalf your super fund paid amounts to the ATO on a voluntary basis.


Do you have ATO held super funds you can claim?

The ATO are then returning these amounts; some to the individual and some to the current fund.  In the case of SMSFs, no changes to reporting obligations have occurred.  However, should the ATO determine an SMSF to be the primary super fund for an individual, it is possible that the balance of lost or unused accounts will be paid into the SMSF bank account.  In most cases these will be treated as a rollover in and will not be liable to tax, nor will they count towards the individual’s contribution caps.

How to find out if you have ATO-held super

You can check via your myGov account to determine if the ATO is holding money on your behalf. Simply log in, select the ATO logo, then go to Super to view your current fund balance and details of any balance held by the ATO.

Talk to our superannuation specialists about potential held ATO super

If you receive a payment into your fund and you’re not sure why or what you should do, contact us and we’ll look into it for you. Please reach out to our Brisbane superannuation specialists Zoë Redman and Malcolm Barkle.


Zoë Redman:

Malcolm Barkle:

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