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  • Handy tips for completing FHSS release authorities

    In 2018, CRT Alert 82/2018 was issued to highlight that the First home super saver (FHSS) scheme Guidance Note, GN 2018/1 had been published.

    The guidance note helps funds and members understand how the scheme applies, and to provide a wide range of examples.

    Based on the first six months operation of the scheme, we have identified some handy tips to help ensure a smooth process for funds and members when completing FHSS release authorities.

    • Use the correct Payment Reference Number (PRN) – this enables members to receive their FHSS money quickly.
    • Make sure member ID matches – if a fund is unable to match a member’s details with those on the member’s FHSS release authority statement (RAS), funds can follow-up with their member or check details with us via the Super CRT mailbox.
    • Check out our frequently updated web content – to reduce the chance that a member’s details are mismatched, our web content has been updated to advise members to check their personal details held by their fund to ensure it matches information held by us prior to applying for a release.
    • Complete and return the RAS – funds should complete the FHSS RAS form (NAT 74981) for every release authority, regardless of whether the fund is able to release any money under FHSS.
      • Section C of the RAS form includes a section for the fund to complete where
        • the member does not have sufficient funds available or no longer has any super interests within the fund
        • the member has funds available, though cannot be released due to the interest being a defined benefit interest or non-commutable income stream.
         
      • If money cannot be released from a fund and the member has agreed, we will request the release of FHSS funds from any other superannuation account the member holds.
       
    • Remember, funds don't need to match voluntary contributions made by their member to be able to release money from their account. For example, the FHSS amount does not need to be released from the account or fund where the personal voluntary contributions were made. Members can request the release to be made from any of their superannuation accounts, even if no personal voluntary contributions were made to that account.
    • If there are insufficient funds to release, the fund on receipt of a release authority is only required to pay to us the lesser of either
      • the amount stated in the release authority
      • the total amount of the super lump sums that could be paid at the time from the member's super interests (known as the maximum available release amount).
       
    • Cashing order for benefits – a reminder that withdrawing money from a member's account to satisfy a release authority, including those of the FHSS scheme, uses the following hierarchy
      • unrestricted non-preserved benefits
      • restricted non-preserved benefits
      • preserved benefits.
       

    Next steps:

    • incorporate these new tips in fund procedures and staff training material
    • if you have any questions, email the Super CRT mailbox.

    See also:

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      Last modified: 22 Feb 2019QC 58007