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Unclaimed superannuation money protocol

The unclaimed super money protocol provides guidance for providers.

Last updated 1 March 2022


This information provides guidance for the reporting and payment obligations under the Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Act 1999 (SUMLMA).

In this protocol:

Guiding principles for industry best practice

In line with your obligations under subsection 52(2) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, you should take into account your member's individual circumstances and decide whether your action is appropriate:

  • The best interests of the member should be of primary concern when applying the law and the guidelines within this information.
  • You should always make reasonable attempts to contact the member to advise them of their entitlement to a super benefit before reporting their account in accordance with SUMLMA requirements.
  • Once you have made a determination in respect of a member’s benefit, you should report and pay it to the ATO on the next scheduled statement date.
  • Unclaimed money tests should be applied at the member level, not the account level

Legislative context

The provisions that outline the various reporting and payment obligations are in:

  • Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Act 1999 (SUMLMA)
  • associated regulations within the        
    • Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Regulations 2019 (SUMLMR)
    • Retirement Savings Accounts Regulations 1997 (RSA Regulations)
    • Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SIS Regulations).

This includes the requirement for providers to report and pay in the approved form by the scheduled statement due dates as follows:

  • for an unclaimed money day being 31 December of any year – 30 April of the following year
  • for an unclaimed money day being 30 June of any year – 31 October of that year.

Note: The above scheduled due dates do not apply to eligible rollover funds (ERFs) and trustee voluntary payments (TVPs). However, the existing USM effective dates can be used to report ERF accounts and TVP.

The approved form is one that has been approved by the Commissioner and contains all the information, statements and declarations you are required to provide. You must give the Commissioner all the information required, where it is held – you do not have the discretion to determine what information will or will not be provided.

If you have no unclaimed money, lost member accounts or inactive low-balance accounts to report and pay, you are required to advise us of this by lodging a non-lodgment advice.

Exceptional and unforeseen circumstances may impact your ability to lodge or pay by a due date and requesting a deferral a soon as possible is preferable.

The information in the protocol does not apply to super providers that are trustees of a state or territory public sector super scheme, where:

  • the relevant state or territory has laws requiring the reporting and payment of unclaimed super money to the state or territory government
  • the state or territory public sector super scheme complies with relevant state or territory laws.

If your fund is a state or territory government fund, contact your state or territory authority to check whether your reporting obligations are to the state or territory authority or to us.

Where a state or territory does not have laws requiring the reporting of unclaimed super money to the state or territory government, the state or territory public sector super scheme is required to comply with the SUMLMA and the protocol.

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