Individuals can use ATO online services (which can be accessed using their myGov credential) to track and consolidate their superannuation accounts – to avoid unnecessary costs that may come with holding multiple accounts.
Many people took the opportunity to consolidate their superannuation accounts when completing their tax returns through myGov. During 2015–16, over 529,000 accounts were consolidated using myGov, an increase of 18% over the previous year. The value of these accounts was $2.5 billion, an increase of 29% over 2014–15.
We also used marketing campaigns, including social media, to encourage people to keep track of their superannuation. One strategy we implemented this year to help reunite members with their superannuation was to work with super funds to reduce the number of ATO-held unclaimed accounts. We provided 104 super funds with information on 176,000 ATO-held unclaimed super accounts worth $203 million.
The outcome of our ATO online services plus the work we do with super funds has resulted in an overall reduction of lost and ATO-held accounts by over 8% from 6.2 million in previous years to 5.7 million accounts. The value of these accounts has also reduced from $16.2 billion down to $14.8 billion.
In 2015–16, we focused our education efforts on younger workers who tend to be more mobile in the workforce and, therefore, more likely to open multiple super accounts. The Young Workers Multiple Super Accounts Campaign, launched during National Youth Week 2015, used media channels and communication products, including our animated video Too many super accounts, which has been viewed around 90,000 times. The success of the campaign has been recognised with a highly commended award from Financial Literacy Australia.
Individuals with an annual income of over $300,000 are liable for an additional tax, Division 293, that reduces the tax concession on super contributions. The ATO issues notices for both excess contributions and Division 293, along with all other electronic correspondence, to the inbox of myGov users. We have commenced piloting proactive alerts via SMS and email to better engage with Division 293 clients.