Currently the superannuation co-contribution is only paid by cheque. However the ATO has been able to process electronic payment of tax refunds to SMSFs for some years.
The superannuation co-contribution is a super contribution from the government to encourage people to make additional personal superannuation contributions, which have not been claimed as a tax deduction. For the 2014/15 financial year the maximum government superannuation co-contribution is $500 for a $1,000 eligible contribution.
The superannuation co-contribution first applied in the 2003/04 financial year. In that year the co-contribution was set at 100% matching up to $1,000 – that is, if someone made a $1,000 personal non-concessional contribution and met the other requirements the government would pay another $1,000 into their super fund. For 2004/05, and running to 2008/09, this was increased to 150% up to a maximum of $1,500 – a $1,000 contribution would receive $1,500 in co-contribution. However this was decreased to 100% and $1,000 from 2009/10 and then further to 50% and $500 from 2012/13.