Clock ticking on SuperStream exemption

SuperStream exemption

The ATO exemption to allow an SMSF to make a rollover outside of SuperStream is likely to be withdrawn soon due to low levels of usage.

SMSFs have a limited time to make rollovers to another superannuation fund outside the SuperStream system, with two technical experts predicting an exemption currently on offer will be withdrawn before the end of the year.

Smarter SMSF chief executive Aaron Dunn and Heffron head of SMSF technical and education services Lyn Formica have both said during recent presentations that the number of SMSFs requesting an exemption to roll over to another superannuation fund outside SuperStream has been low, making it likely the ATO will withdraw it soon.

“There is an exception at the moment where you don’t have to do a rollover out via SuperStream, but it is very, very rare. It is only available where the trustee is having trouble getting an electronic service address (ESA) for that fund,” Formica said during the recent Heffron Superannuation Intensive Day 2022 in Sydney.

Formica added most SMSF software will provide funds with an ESA, so the exemption would not be available in that instance, and with the addition of Australia Post providing an ESA, “I think it would be very few and far between that the exception would be granted”.

“To my knowledge, it’s only about a dozen funds who have been given that exemption and my understanding is it will probably close off in the next month or two because the funds just don’t need it anymore,” she said.

Her comments were echoed during a recent webinar by Dunn, who highlighted the exemption to roll over outside of SuperStream only applied to rollovers from an SMSF to another SMSF or to an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority-regulated fund.

“If an SMSF does not have an ESA, you can obtain a reference number from the ATO that will in essence authorise the trustee to move outside of the SuperStream requirements,” he said.

“The ATO is looking at how much activity is going through this space and according to them there has been 60 to 70 funds that have gone down this path, so very few, and it is likely that we will see only to the end of this calendar year where that temporary relief will be available.”

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