From 1 July 2017, a limit came into effect on the total amount a superannuation fund member can transfer into retirement phase across all of their superannuation funds.  The limit is referred to as the ‘transfer balance cap’ (TBC) and is currently $1.6 million for the 2017/2018 financial year.

To keep track of a member’s TBC, all superannuation funds are required to report certain events to the Australian Taxation Office via a ‘Transfer Balance Account Report’ (TBAR) (NAT 74923).

The TBAR enables the Tax Office to record and keep track of a superannuation fund member’s TBC and their total superannuation balance (TSB).

The table below summarises common TBAR reporting events and exclusions from 1 July 2017:

Events you must reportEvents you don’t need to report
An existing pension account that is in retirement phase and continued to be paid on or after 1 July 2017Pension payments
Commencing a retirement phase pension accountInvestment earnings or losses
Limited recourse borrowing arrangement payments that increase the value of a retirement phase pension accountWhen assets supporting a pension account are exhausted
Member commutations from a retirement phase pension accountDeath of a member
Compliance with a commutation authority issued by the CommissionerInformation that members report to the ATO directly by lodging a transfer balance event notification form (NAT 74919).
For example:
- family law payment split
- debit event from fraud, dishonesty, or bankruptcy
- structured settlement contributions made before 1 July 2007
Personal injury (structured settlement) contributionsInformation other funds will report to the ATO, such as a member’s interest in an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority fund
Cessation of a retirement phase pension account

Timeframes for lodging a TBAR are determined by all members’ total superannuation balances as at 30 June of the previous financial year (FY). Once the reporting framework is set, the trustees will not be expected to move between annual and quarterly reporting due dates, regardless of fluctuations in any of its members’ balances.

Certain events are required to be reported sooner, see table below.

Events that occur prior to 1 July 2017

Transfer balance account (TBA) eventAll members’ TSBReporting methodTBAR due date
An existing retirement phase pension account that is continued to be paid on or after 1 July 2017N/AN/AOn or before 1 July 2018

Events that occur on or after 1 July 2017

Transfer balance account (TBA) eventAll members’ TSBReporting methodTBAR due date
A voluntary member commutation in response to an excess transfer balance determination N/A
as member has exceeded their TBC
N/AWithin 10 business days after the end of the month in which the commutation occurs
A response to a commutation authorityN/A
as it is set by legislation
N/AWithin 60 days of the date the commutation was issued
Any other TBA eventLess than $1 millionAnnuallyNo later than the due date for lodging the SMSF’s annual return for the FY in which the event occurs
Any other TBA eventMore than $1 millionQuarterly28 days after the end of the quarter in which the event occurs