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  • Frequently asked questions

    How should the lost member legislation apply for funds under a shared overarching provider?

    The lost member tests should be applied at the member, not the account level. This concept also applies where the structure of the super provider is such that, although there is one overarching provider, the provider administers two or more products – for instance, a public offer product and an employer sub-plan product.

    Example

    ABC Superannuation is the overall super provider, but under it sits ABC Master Trust Fund and ABC Longevity Fund. If a member has an active account with ABC Master Trust, but an inactive account with ABC Longevity Fund, it is the individual's membership with the overarching super provider, ABC Superannuation, which needs to be examined when determining whether the individual is a lost member. In this example, as one of the accounts is active, the member is not a lost member.

    Note: In situations like this, we expect the super provider to ensure the member is made aware of their inactive account. They will either offer them the opportunity to consolidate the accounts where this is possible and desired by the member, or receive an indication from the member that they would like the account to be permanently excluded from being considered lost.

    End of example

    Can a member be reported as lost even if they satisfy the permanent exclusions?

    Yes. The super provider is not obliged to accept any member as being permanently excluded and can change a member's status from being permanently excluded.

    Do members with nil or negative amounts have to be reported as lost?

    No. As stated in section 6 of the SUMLMA, the purpose of the legislation is to keep a register of details relating to lost members so the benefits of lost members can be located by people entitled to them. In addition, section 23 of the SUMLMA requires the register to contain the information given to us by super providers in accordance with the scheme.

    What is the approved form?

    This is the form we have approved and contains all the information you must provide. If you have more than 100 lost members, your report must be provided in the format set out in lost member's statement – electronic reporting specification. If you have 100 or less lost members, you can choose to lodge using the LMS paper forms (NAT 71825 and NAT 71825A).

    What if I can't lodge the form by the due date?

    If you are unable to lodge by the due date and require further time please put your request in writing to the ATO. The request must be lodged well before the due date. Clearly state the reasons for the delay and the proposed alternate date for lodging the information. We will advise you of our decision in writing.

    Reporting requirements

    The SUMLMA, SUMLMR and associated SIS and RSA regulations outline your reporting requirements and obligations. These include the requirements for you to report lost, found and transferred member information in the approved form by the due date specified.

    The approved form is the lost members' statement (LMS) which must be lodged:

    • for the half year 1 January to 30 June in a year – on or before 31 October in that year
    • for the half year 1 July to 31 December in a year – on or before 30 April in the following year.

    The more accurate the information you provide for each member, the better chance there is of the ATO matching the data to the correct TFN, which will assist the member to reunite with their lost super.

    Where details are not known or only partially known – for example, only a year, but no day or month of birth – then only include this information. If you don't have an address, then do not include your address – leave it blank.

    Example

    Date of birth: 00/01/1957

    10/12/0000

    Address:12 Main Street, XXXXXXX, NSW, YYYY

    XXXXXXXXXXX, Albany, WA, 6XXX

    End of example

    Previously reported members

    Members who have previously been reported as lost and who exit the fund during a reporting period need to be reported accurately.

    A previously reported member record must be removed from the LMR where:

    • the member has since been found (report as F)
    • the account has been transferred (report as T)
    • the member was originally reported in error (report as E).

    Where removal of a record is required, the ATO will need to be supplied with an updated LMS for the member. For this data record to be accepted, the following information must match the information previously provided on the LMS:

    • provider tax file number (TFN)
    • member account number
    • member client ID.

    Penalties

    The Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Act 1999 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA 1953) provide for offences and administrative penalties if you:

    • don't lodge your LMS on time
    • provide an LMS that is false or misleading
    • fail to keep records correctly.

    See also:

      Last modified: 03 Jan 2017QC 27204