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Portability - transferring super balances

Section: 11.1

Members of accumulation style super funds and approved deposit funds (ADFs) can roll over part or all of their super to another super fund regardless of whether employer contributions will continue to be made to the fund.

Super portability laws do not apply to:

  • SMSFs
  • unfunded public sector super schemes
  • a defined benefit super interest where the member is an employee of the employer sponsored fund, or
  • benefits paid as a pension (other than an allocated pension).
Tip!

If you want to help your client to roll over benefits from another super fund, use the ATO portability form:

Request to transfer whole balance of superannuation benefits between funds (NAT 71223) available at www.ato.gov.au

Transferring the balance of super under the portability laws does not affect where a person's continuing employer contributions are made. If a person is eligible for choice, they may change the fund that receives employer contributions by completing Standard Choice Form (NAT 13080).

Information required

A request to roll over or transfer a member's entire account balance may be made using the ATO's portability form (either paper or online). To transfer the whole balance of a super account between APRA funds, members can submit an electronic portability form (EPF) through the ATO's online service SuperSeeker. The ATO will then send the EPF to the transferring fund for processing after verifying the member's identity and membership details.

A request to roll over or transfer a partial account balance may include the information required in the ATO's portability form and any other additional information that the trustee of the transferring super fund advises the member as being necessary to process the request.

Additional information may be required for transfers to SMSFs. The trustee of the transferring fund may require further information about the person's status as a member, a trustee or a director of a corporate trustee of the SMSF.

Examples of documents showing that a member is a member or trustee of a SMSF include:

  • a trust deed
  • the member's contribution statement, and
  • the annual return of the SMSF.

Time limits

Subject to some exceptions below, from 1 July 2013 a trustee must roll over the requested amount as soon as practicable and within 3 business days of receiving the request or all the information required to process the transfer.

For rollovers that occurred prior to 1 July 2013, this timeframe was 30 days.

Illiquid investments

For an investment choice made by a member before 1 July 2007, a trustee is not required to roll over or transfer the amount requested within the 30-day period if any part of the member's interest was an illiquid investment immediately before 1 July 2007 and the trustee informed the member before 1 July 2008 of the nature of the illiquid investment, the impact of the investment on the portability of the member's interest, and the period within which the investment can be rolled over to another fund.

An illiquid investment is one that:

  • cannot be converted to cash in less than 30 days, and
  • if converted to cash within 30 days, the cashing out would have an adverse impact on the value of the investment.

For an investment choice made by a member on or after 1 July 2007, and where the investment strategy chosen is an illiquid investment, the trustee is not required to roll over or transfer the whole of the member's withdrawal benefit (or a partial amount requested to be transferred) within the 30-day period if the trustee informs the member of:

  • the effect of this rule before the member makes the investment choice
  • the reasons why the investment is illiquid
  • the maximum period in which a transfer must be paid, and
  • obtains written consent that the member understands and accepts that a period longer than the 30 days is required because of the illiquid nature of the investment.

Note: The trustee may process a portability request in two or more transactions to ensure that only the transfer of the illiquid investment is delayed for more than the 30-day period.

Requests for further information

If the trustee of the fund has not received the information in the ATO form it may refuse to roll over, but:

  • the trustee must, within 5 business days after receiving the request, ask the member for this information, and
  • if the trustee has not received the information within 10 business days after making the request, the trustee must make reasonable further enquiries of the member to obtain this information.

Trustee not required to transfer in some cases

The trustee of a super fund or ADF is not required to comply with a portability request from a member where:

  • the nominated super fund or RSA will not accept the amount
  • the amount to be rolled over is only part of the member's account balance and the rollover will reduce the account balance to less than $5,000, or
  • a previous rollover has occurred in the last 12 months.

Note: A member can withdraw their entire account balance where the balance is below $5,000.

Last modified: Tuesday, May 2, 2017