ATO helps Indigenous people to hunt down millions in super

Photo by Martin Howard, https://www.flickr.com/photos/martinhoward, used under creative commons license 2.0

More than 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities have been reunited with lost superannuation worth more than $3.5 million, the Australian Tax Office said.

The ATO earlier this year visited the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia where community events were held to help people get the most out of the super system.

More than 20 residents in Hope Vale, Palm Island and Aurukun in North Queensland were offered similar help.

ATO assistant commissioner Graham Whyte said that through the visits the ATO came across hundreds of people who weren’t sure if they even had super savings.

“We assisted one woman in the APY Lands who was approaching retirement and she discovered that she had more than $120,000 in super which she was unaware of,” Mr Whyte said.

“These are life-changing outcomes for the people in these communities. In another case a man in South Australia discovered he had accumulated more than $170,000 in super, which he was able to use to purchase his first home.”

The ATO has a range of tax and super support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

For more information, visit ato.gov.au/Indigenous, phone the ATO Indigenous helpline 13 10 30, or visit a shopfront.

By Wendy Caccetta 

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