Australian workers and retirees will find it easier to find ‘lost’ superannuation accounts, after the Government today released draft legislation that will allow superannuation funds to use tax file numbers (TFNs) to identify members’ accounts.

The draft Bill enables superannuation funds to use the TFN to identify member accounts from 1 July 2011. Although members can currently supply their TFN to their fund, it cannot be used as the primary identifier of their accounts or to assist with consolidation of accounts between and across funds. The proposal will be subject to strict privacy guidelines.

An estimated 5.8 million super accounts, or about one in five, are lost – an average of one lost account for every two working Australians. The total amount of lost superannuation is $18.8 billion.

Expanding the use of TFNs is one of a number of Government initiatives that will improve the back-office processing of superannuation. This range of measures, known as SuperStream, could save up to 25 per cent on superannuation administration costs equating to a saving of $1 billion each year.

Consultation Process
The draft legislation can be viewed at Consultations will close on Thursday 17 February 2011. Interested parties are invited to make written submissions on the draft Bill.

Submissions may be lodged electronically at or by post to:

Contributions & Accumulation Unit
Personal and Retirement Income Division
The Treasury
Langton Crescent