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Inactive low-balance super accounts

What happens to inactive super accounts, and find out how you can recover an inactive super account.

Last updated 1 August 2023

What is an inactive low-balance super account?

To protect accounts from fee erosion, inactive low-balance super accounts must be transferred to us. Where possible, we proactively consolidate them on your behalf

Generally, a super account is an inactive low-balance account if all of the following criteria are met:

  • no amount has been credited to the account within the last 16 months
  • the account balance is less than $6,000
  • you have not met a prescribed condition of release
  • the account is not a defined benefit account
  • there is no insurance on the account
  • the account is not held in a self-managed super fund (SMSF) or small Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) fund.

However, the account is not considered an inactive low-balance account if in the last 16 months you have done any of the following:

  • changed your investment options
  • elected to maintain insurance on the account
  • made changes to your insurance coverage
  • made or amended a binding beneficiary nomination
  • given your fund a written notice electing not to be a member of an inactive low-balance account.

Depending on how your account is structured, your fund may need to consider some of the above criteria at a product level within your account. This may mean that only part of your account is paid to the ATO.

Funds are required to identify inactive low-balance accounts on 30 June and 31 December each year and then report and pay them to us by the statement date.

For accounts identified on:

  • 30 June, the statement date is 31 October of the same year
  • 31 December, the statement date is 30 April of the following year.

What you need to do

As a fund account holder, you're not required to do anything. The balance of your inactive low-balance account will be transferred to us by your fund and, where possible, we will proactively consolidate it into an active super account on your behalf.

If you have a super account that you don't want transferred to us as an inactive low-balance account, you can:

  • consolidate your super accounts using ATO online services
  • contact your super fund for more information
  • provide a written notice to your super fund.

Written notice for an inactive low-balance account

For your super account to not be taken as an inactive low-balance account, you will need to give a written notice to your super fund declaring you're not a member with an inactive low-balance account. The written notice is valid for 16 months.