The ATO has agreed to modify the reporting obligation for total superannuation balances, in recognition that some funds may not be in a position to report the correct accumulation phase value (APV) for 30 June 2017.

The concept of an individual's "total superannuation balance" is used to determine eligibility for various super concessions, including the $1.6 million balance limit for making non-concessional contributions, Government co-contributions, the spouse contributions tax offset, carry-forward of unused concessional contributions and the self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) segregation method. An individual's total superannuation balance at a particular time is broadly the sum of the APV, an adjusted balance for any pension transfer balance account and roll-over superannuation benefits in transit, less any structured settlement contributions.

Modified reporting obligation

The ATO notes that the APV is net of exit and administration fees payable on accessing the superannuation interest, and therefore needs to be taken into account in the valuation. However, some funds will not be in a position to report the correct APV for 30 June 2017 because they cannot exclude exit and administration fees from the reported value. This is due to varying interpretations of APV within the industry based on historical member account balance reporting. These fees are generally not material amounts. If the 30 June balance reported in the member contribution statement (MCS) is not the APV, the ATO says that funds should report the APV separately in a transfer balance account report (TBAR) around the same time as MCS lodgment.
Therefore, the ATO will provide a modified reporting obligation for the 30 June 2017 APV in the TBAR for the transition year. Funds will not be required to report an APV for 30 June 2017 if the difference between MCS account balance and APV is limited to the sum of exit and administration fees that would apply if the account was to cease at 30 June 2017.

Pension transfer balance account reports: due dates

A legislative instrument registered on 27 September 2017 sets out the way in which superannuation providers (and life insurance companies) are required to report transactions to enable the ATO to determine if an individual has exceeded their $1.6 million pension transfer balance cap.

Due date for reporting TBAR events

The instrument requires a transfer balance account report (TBAR) to be lodged no later than 10 business days after the end of the month in which the relevant reporting event occurred, or by such later date as the Commissioner may allow.

Self managed super fund admin concession until 1 July 2018

The explanatory statement to the instrument notes that an ATO administrative concession will be provided for self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) to support their transition to event-based transfer balance cap reporting. To this end, the ATO released a position paper for consultation on 18 August 2017, proposing

to allow SMSFs to defer their reporting until 1 July 2018. Going forward from that date, the position paper has put forward two options for how often SMSFs should report such events. The Commissioner also intends to provide an administrative concession for all other providers to allow them to lodge their first TBAR no later than 14 December 2017.

Reporting events

Superannuation funds and life insurance companies are required to report the following events for retirement phase income streams that result in a credit or debit in an individual's transfer balance account:

  • superannuation income streams in existence just before 1 July 2017;
  • superannuation income streams that commence or begin to be in the retirement phase on or after 1 July 2017;
  • commutations;
  • compliance with a commutation authority issued by the Commissioner;
  • certain limited recourse borrowing arrangement payments;
  • personal injury (structured settlement) contributions;
  • superannuation income streams that stop being in the retirement phase; and
  • any other relevant transactions.