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  • SMSF Rollovers and Release Authorities v3 Co-design Group key messages 22 November 2021

    Welcome

    The chair welcomed attendees to the meeting.

    SMSF verification service and industry experience

    The ATO acknowledged for the group that the SMSF Verification Service (SVS) and the volume of invalid responses was the biggest pain point for industry and members through the transition based on feedback received to date.

    The SVS has seen a positive trend of Valid responses from the service since onboarding.

    Just under 40% of SVS calls resulted in a Valid response during September 2021. This improved to 50% in October and is sitting at just over 60% to date in November.

    The project team has been analysing the drivers of the issues experienced with the volume of Invalid’ responses and two main issues were identified:

    • a mismatch of Financial Institution Account (FIA) details
    • a mismatch of Electronic Service Address (ESA) details.

    Attendees raised a further issue that when the member is advised of the incorrect outcome, the issues are often not fixed before a new request is made.

    The ATO confirmed that in all cases of an ‘Invalid’ response from the SVS, the best advice is for the SMSF to phone the ATO directly on the Superannuation line 13 10 20 as an ATO operative can see the reason for the fail and update this in real time. ATO confirmed that FIA and ESA updates are actioned and verified in real time in ATO systems.

    Industry suggested the ATO investigate a dedicated channel for these requests as the general line could result in members not achieving the right outcome. The ATO could also provide suggested wording for trustees to say to get to the right spot when they phone the ATO.

    Action item

    20211122-1

    Due date

    3 December 2021

    Responsibility

    ATO

    Action item details

    Project team to investigate whether a more specific channel than the general line can be used for SVS calls from members.

    Post meeting comment – Members can phone the ATO Superannuation Enquiries line on 13 10 20 and use fast key code 4 then 1.

    The group discussed the main drivers of the issues being mismatch of FIA and ESA details, and how this is an issue only the SMSF can rectify by updating their details with the ATO. The ATO has seen two main causes:

    • new funds are not providing these details at registration and they are not being updated with the ATO prior to the rollover request
    • the details with the ATO are not being kept up to date for existing funds.

    The group identified that these issues need to be addressed through SMSF trustee and intermediary education.

    The ATO suggested funds include similar messages in their web and/or rollover forms that prompt clients to call ATO before filling in the fund rollover form.

    The ATO advised that the project team has recently published updates to our scripting and will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these and undertake further improvements as required.

    SMSF representatives proposed that the SMSF providers could also put warnings into screens for new SMSFs to contact ATO before commencing a rollover to provide details.

    Industry suggested a guide to provide to SMSF members for when they are preparing or facing issues with rollovers.

    Action item

    20211122-2

    Due date

    17 December 2021

    Responsibility

    ATO

    Action item details

    ATO to develop improved communications and education content for SMSFs and intermediaries preparing for a rollover.

    Manual verification requests

    The ATO continues to receive a significant number of manual verification requests. Many of these include sufficient detail to use the SVS. If funds have the TFN they are required to call the SVS.

    Reminder to funds not to exclude the TFN for the purposes of lodging a manual verification request.

    Funds requesting manual verification outside the agree scenarios (no TFN or SVS is down for an extended period) will not obtain a different result (than the SVS).

    Electronic Portability Form process

    Partial rollovers are excluded by law from being included in the Electronic Portability Form (EPF). Partial rollovers must be requested with either the transferring or receiving fund.

    A rollover request through ATO Online calls the SVS as well as undertaking additional fraud mitigation checks. The EPF also provides fields to update ESA and SMSF bank details if the individual is authorised to do so during the request process.

    Rv3 project lessons learned

    ATO processes are to be more clearly reflected in project documentation for future changes.

    Wrap up and close

    The Chair thanked the group for their attendance and participation.

      Last modified: 04 Jan 2022QC 67608