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Transferring or consolidating your super

When and how you can transfer or roll over your super to another fund, and how to consolidate multiple super accounts.

Last updated 1 August 2023

Transferring (rolling over) your super to another fund

You may be able to transfer your existing super account(s) to another complying fund (known as a rollover), depending on the rules of your super funds.

For example, you can choose to transfer your super to consolidate multiple accounts. Putting all your super in one account means you only pay one set of account fees and charges. Differences in fees can make a big difference to the amount you have when you retire. Having fewer accounts also makes it easier to keep track of your super.

Think about the possible consequences before deciding to roll over your super. Ask your existing super fund about any fees or charges that will apply or any loss of entitlements such as life insurance.

You should also consult the receiving super fund to make sure they will accept a rollover of your super.

The preservation rules still apply to benefits that are rolled over to another complying super fund. This means benefits can only be accessed once you meet a condition of release.

In some situations, your super may be rolled over to another super fund without you requesting it, such as when two super funds merge.

How tax applies

No tax is payable on the amount rolled over to another complying super fund until you withdraw your super, when tax may apply.

If a super benefit is paid directly to you before being paid into another fund, the payment is considered to be outside the super system. It will be treated as a super benefit rather than a rollover, in which case it may be taxed.

If you roll over an amount consisting wholly or partly of an untaxed element that exceeds the untaxed plan cap amount, the transferring fund will withhold the tax payable on the excess amount.

Rolling over super while seeking access due to terminal medical condition

If you're thinking about rolling over your super to another fund or have already made a rollover request, make sure you complete the rollover before applying to access your super due to a terminal medical condition.

You should speak to your super fund and a financial adviser before deciding to roll over your super. If you roll over super during the period of certification, these amounts won't be considered as 'rollover superannuation benefits' for the purposes of income tax law.

The practical tax consequences of this are that:

  • you'll be deemed to have been paid a tax-free lump sum
  • your paying super fund will be treated as having paid a benefit to you for income tax purposes
  • your receiving super fund will be treated as having received a personal contribution from you
  • your personal contribution will be counted towards your concessional or non-concessional contributions cap, depending on whether, and to what extent, you have claimed a deduction (if eligible) for the contribution.

Things to consider before transferring

Check with both super funds, particularly the transferring fund, so you are aware of any fees or charges that apply, any effect on your benefits, and any loss of entitlements such as insurance.

The fund you want to transfer to may not accept transfers from other funds or ATO-held super – check before starting your transfer. There are no fees or charges for transferring ATO-held super money into a super fund account.

Check that both the account you're planning to transfer super from and the account you're planning to transfer it to are still open, as there can be delays in funds reporting closed accounts to us. Check that neither of the funds have restrictions on actioning the transfer.

There are some important factors to consider before transferring your super:

  • Differences in fees can make a big difference to the amount you have when you retire.
  • The fund you want to leave could charge administrative fees and exit or withdrawal fees.
  • The fund you want to transfer to may charge entry or deposit fees.
  • The fund you want to leave may insure you against death, illness or an accident that leaves you unable to return to work. If you leave this fund, you may lose these entitlements – check if the other fund offers comparable cover. ATO online services flags any super account that has insurance included with a 'Yes' indicator.

Transferring your funds will not change the super fund your employer pays your contributions to. Speak with your employer about whether you are entitled to choose a different fund and advise them of the new fund account details for future contributions.

If you are unsure what to do, seek independent financial advice or contact your super fund.

If you have applied to access your super early, ensure your fund has actioned this before you make a transfer request. If you make a transfer request while this is being processed your early access application will be delayed.

If you intend to claim a deduction for personal super contributions

If you intend to claim a deduction for personal super contributions that you made to the account you are transferring from, you must ensure the following steps have been completed before you make your request:

  • confirm your eligibility
  • notify your fund of your intention to claim by providing a valid notice of intent
  • receive acknowledgement from your fund that they have received and actioned a valid notice of intent from you.

If you have not completed these steps before transferring your money out of the fund that received the contributions, you will not be able to claim a deduction for them (See the effects of claiming a deduction).

How to transfer your super

You can request a transfer of the whole of a super account balance either:

Completing the rollover or transfer request using ATO online services allows you to view all your super accounts in the one place.

You can only transfer a whole account balance from one super fund to another using ATO online services or the paper form, as this process involves closing the account. If you want to transfer part of your super account balance, contact the super fund you want to transfer money from.

Some transfers may not be possible

In some circumstances, you may not be able to transfer a super fund account. ATO online services only display accounts in the 'Transfer your super' section that you can transfer super into or out of – based on the type of account and the details reported by your super fund:

  • If the account you want to select as the 'From' account doesn't appear, the super fund doesn't allow outward transfers.
  • If the account you want to select as the 'To' account doesn't appear, the super fund doesn't accept inward transfers.
  • If the account was recently opened and has not reported to us, it may not appear.
  • If the super benefit was already rolled out or a transfer request was made within 12 months of the current request, a transfer may not be possible.

A super fund may not action your transfer request if the transfer doesn't meet the fund's rules. In these circumstances the fund is required to explain this to you in writing. Contact your super fund for further information.

What happens next

Once you've submitted your transfer request, we send a message to each ‘Transfer from’ super fund you have selected. The funds generally take three days to make the transfer to your nominated super fund.

Some super funds may contact you to verify the information provided or seek further information before processing the request. This often relates to the fund holding different personal details for you than you have provided to us. If this is the case, update your details with us and the fund before making the transfer.

Consolidating multiple super accounts

Having more than one super account could mean you're paying multiple fees and charges, which may reduce your retirement savings.

You can consolidate multiple accounts using ATO online services.

Media: Too many super accounts
http://tv.ato.gov.au/ato-tv/media?v=bd1bdiubfo8e48External Link (Duration: 01:17)

In some cases we may be able to consolidate your ATO-held super accounts. Information on consolidating your super is also available on MoneySmartExternal Link.

YourSuper comparison tool

Make sure you choose the right super account for you and your circumstances. The YourSuper comparison tool will help you compare MySuper products and choose a super fund that meets your needs. Accessing the personalised version of the tool in ATO online services allows you to view and compare your existing MySuper products with MySuper products from other super funds. In ATO online services select Super, then Information, then Your super comparison.

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