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20 Feb 15 On lost super and consolidating super accounts - the ATO responds

In 2015 TAXVINE No 4 (13 February 2015), Member 11 wrote with a suggestion on how the ATO could manage the proliferation of superannuation accounts.

THE ATO NOW RESPONDS TO MEMBER 11

"Thank you for your suggestion, and we really like hearing people’s ideas on this issue. We have recently implemented something similar for individuals. Using myGov, we encourage individuals to link to the ATO and then they can find their super account information and give it to their employer. We would encourage you to go to myGov, link the ATO and let us know what you think."

And, in 2015 TAXVINE No 4 (13 February 2015), Member 12 wrote: "The ATO seems to have a large amount of information about lost Super both with names and TFNs yet seems to wish this to keep on increasing. Surely if it is working in the interests of taxpayers it should be pro-active about resolving this issue. Where is their commitment to taxpayers? It seems to be hidden."

THE ATO NOW RESPONDS TO MEMBER 12

"Thank you for your feedback. Helping people with their lost super is one of our corporate priorities and we know it is an ongoing issue affecting many Australians. We have a number of strategies designed to help people with lost super. We work with super funds and also contact individuals directly to encourage them to take action.

We report each year on our activities in our annual report which can be found here

Your statement indicates that lost super is increasing, however you will notice from Tables 2.16 and 2.17 in the above link that the numbers and values of lost accounts over the last five years have actually reduced.  We are also consulting with some Tax Practitioner Groups in February 2015 to see how Tax Professionals can help us with this."

And, finally, in 2015 TAXVINE No 4 (13 February 2015), Member 13 wrote suggesting that the ATO might be giving "illegal' financial product advice" when it gave advice to small businesses about consolidating super accounts. 

THE ATO NOW RESPONDS TO MEMBER 13

"The information we provided as part of the media release on 2 February 2015 is factual information and consistent with the advice provided by ASIC on their Money Smart website.

The ATO was tasked by Government to provide better services to enable people to manage their superannuation.  The new superannuation service is available through myGov and allows individuals to see all their super accounts and balances online as well as the ability to consolidate their accounts."