• Stopping schemes to illegally access super

    We are working to protect the retirement savings of Australians from schemes to illegally access super by:

    • generating awareness of these activities
    • reviewing and assessing all new self-managed super funds (SMSFs) before they can be listed on the Super Fund LookupExternal Link (SFLU)
    • working closely with our super industry partners to strengthen the rollover process.

    Implementing these steps will assist in preventing the transfer or rollover of funds to SMSFs created for the purposes of illegally accessing super.

    See also:

    Improved SMSF registration process

    We have improved the SMSF registration process to help prevent non-legitimate SMSFs from being listed on SFLU. This new registration process means that it takes up to seven days before an SMSF is shown on SFLU as a regulated fund.

    Once a new SMSF is displayed on SFLU, it will be given a status of 'Registered - status not determined'. This status is allocated to all SMSFs on registration and will be updated after the fund lodges its first annual return and is assessed as being 'Complying' or 'Non-complying'.

    SMSFs with this new status still qualify for concessional tax rates and are eligible to receive transfers and rollovers.

    We have updated SFLU to provide clearer information about the complying and regulatory status of SMSFs, and to identify SMSFs that we have concerns about.

    Guidance for APRA-regulated super funds

    APRA has issued updated guidanceExternal Link to APRA-regulated super funds on managing the risk of rollovers and transfers to SMSFs. The guidance provides a list of checks APRA-regulated super funds should undertake when making a transfer or rollover to an SMSF.

    New SMSF member verification system

    A new SMSF member verification system is now available to provide greater transparency around super rollovers from APRA-regulated super funds into SMSFs.

    This new system allows APRA-regulated super funds to confirm that an individual is a member of the SMSF as part of the transfer or rollover process.

    This should reduce the need for APRA-regulated super funds to request copies of documents such as the SMSF's trust deed or other membership verification documents.

    What APRA-regulated super funds need to know

    When you receive a transfer or rollover request, you should always refer to the updated guidance information issued by APRA.

    If you think that you are dealing with illegal early release activity, contact us:

    • by phone on 13 10 20 between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday
    • by email at Super-IER@ato.gov.au

    We will investigate all reports of suspicious transactions.

    You will also need to prepare for the new SMSF member verification system if you haven't already by arranging access to it and reviewing your procedures and processes.

    What SMSFs need to know

    APRA-regulated super funds will not process a rollover request to an SMSF which is not regulated by us.

    An Australian business number (ABN) for the fund will be issued before the election to be regulated is processed. This means that you can use the ABN to establish a bank account for the SMSF.

    It will take up to seven days for a new election to be assessed by us and for the SMSF to be listed on SFLU with a status of 'Registered - status not determined'. If we identify a problem with a new registration, we will immediately attempt to contact the authorised contact for the SMSF.

    One way to speed up the rollover request process is to ensure the fund details on the request form exactly match the details on SFLU (which reflect the details provided during registration).

    You will also need to ensure your SMSF membership details are recorded correctly with us for the new SMSF member verification system. APRA-regulated super funds may use the new system to confirm membership of the SMSF as part of the transfer or rollover process.

    See also:

      Last modified: 22 Mar 2017QC 22209