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Reasonable effort to contact the member

Last updated 19 August 2019

You should exercise reasonable effort to contact your member, if they become lost for any reason.

Best practice – ATO guidance

Follow-up action to locate members might include:

  • checking your own database to see if the member has other accounts with more current information
  • contacting an employer in cases where the employer was contributing to the account
  • engaging a company like Australia Post to undertake database searches to locate the member.

Factors to consider when determining what action and effort is reasonable may include:

  • the information you have in relation to the member
  • the activity patterns on the member’s account
  • the type of super account – for example, employer-sponsored membership, individual membership
  • the type of employment the member is engaged in – for example, transient employment, long-term with the same employer, working within a particular industry
  • the account balance
  • the costs of the different methods in attempting to contact the member.

Transfer of lost member

The law

Under sub regulation 1.03A(1) of the SISR, the member of a fund is still taken to be a lost member at a particular time if either:

(c) the member joined the fund from another fund or an EPSS as a lost member, or
(ca) the member joined the fund from the RSA provider as a lost RSA holder
(d) within the last two years, the super provider has verified that the member's address is correct and has no reason to believe that the address is now incorrect, or
(e) the member is permanently excluded from being a lost member.

Best practice – ATO guidance

If the member joined the fund from another super provider as a lost member, then the provider transferring the lost member is required to provide all available information to the trustee of the receiving fund regarding the lost member and their status.

If the member being transferred has already been reported as lost at the time of joining the receiving fund, the super provider transferring the member account must update the account status and account phase to closed. The receiving fund must report the member with an open account and update the lost attribute with the relevant status of ‘lost uncontactable’ or ‘lost inactive’.

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