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Important: act now to hold on to your super

September 9th, 2019

New laws mean that if your First Super account hasn’t received a payment for 16 months and the balance is below $6,000, then we may need to transfer it to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on 31 October.

Under the Protecting Your Super Package legislation, super funds had to identify inactive low-balance inactive accounts on 30 June.

If affected members don’t take action to make their accounts active again by 30 September, then the super fund must transfer their balances to the ATO by 31 October. The ATO will then try and reunite each member’s unclaimed account with an active account elsewhere.

After 31 October 2019, these transfers to the ATO will become an ongoing process for any member’s low -balance account has been inactive for a period of 16 months running.

Am I affected by this change?

Your account may be transferred to the ATO if:

  • your account balance is less than $6,000;
  • we have not received a contribution or rollover to your account for 16 months (the account is inactive);
  • you have no insurance cover; and
  • you have not met a condition of release (e.g. reached preservation age).

However, an inactive low-balance account will be considered active if any of the following have occurred within the 16-month period:

  • you changed your investment option(s);
  • you changed your insurance cover;
  • made or amended a binding Nomination of Beneficiary;
  • you notify the ATO in writing that you are not a member of an inactive low-balance account; or
  • First Super was owed an amount in respect of your account (e.g. unpaid Superannuation Guarantee contributions).

What happens if my account balance is transferred to the ATO?

If your inactive First Super account is transferred, the ATO will keep your money safe and you won’t pay any fees.

Within 28 days of receiving your money, the ATO will try to reunite it with an active super account if you have one, and where the transfer would take your total balance to $6,000 or more.

If they cannot reunite it with an account in your name, when you claim this amount as “lost super”, any interest due will be paid to you. Interest will be based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Importantly, accounts transferred to the ATO will no longer enjoy the benefits of profit-to-member super funds, which generally provide competitive fees and strong long-term investment returns for members.

If your account is transferred, you will no longer be a member of First Super. This means you will also lose any insurance cover you have, so you will no longer be covered for Death (including terminal illness), Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD), and Income Protection (if you selected it).

How can I stop my account from being transferred?

If you want to keep your First Super account, the easiest way is to stop it being transferred to the ATO is to make it active again.

For full details of how to reactivate your account and to keep your super in your hands, visit our dedicated Hold On To Your Super web page.

Unsure whether to take action?

If you are unsure about whether or not you should be taking any action on any of the above, we encourage you to seek advice. For help on this or any other super matter, please contact our Member Services Team on 1300 360 988.