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Questions & Answers – Transfer Balance Account Report (TBAR)


+ What is the Transfer Balance Account Report (TBAR)?

From 01 July 2017, the Government introduced a $1.6 million cap on the total amount of superannuation benefits that you can transfer into a tax-free Retirement Phase Pension Income Stream. This limit is known as the Transfer Balance Cap (TBC). For more information on the Transfer Balance Cap, please click here.

Due to this new Transfer Balance Cap measure, the ATO has imposed a new reporting obligation on SMSF Trustees so as to record and track the movements in the member’s Transfer Balance Cap and apply provisions should the member breach the Transfer Balance Cap (TBC). This new event-based reporting framework is called the Transfer Balance Account Report (TBAR). It is a separate form from the SMSF Annual Return.

+ Does my SMSF need to complete the Transfer Balance Account Report (TBAR)?

If your SMSF has a member who is accessing a Retirement Phase Pension Income Stream, you will be required to comply with the new Transfer Balance Account Report (TBAR) framework.

The following types of Pension Income Streams are considered as Retirement Phase Pension Income Streams:

Accumulation, and Transition to Retirement Income Stream / Pension (TRIS) where the member is under 65 and still working are NOT in the Retirement Phase and therefore are not required to comply with the Transfer Balance Account Report (TBAR) Framework.

+ What is the reporting frequency for my SMSF and the reporting due date under the TBAR Framework?

The reporting frequency under the TBAR Framework is generally determined by the Total Superannuation Balances (TSB) of all members of your SMSF.

If your SMSF is required to report TBAR on a quarterly basis, you need to report events to the ATO within 28 days after the end of the quarter in which the event occurs.

If your SMSF is required to report TBAR on annual basis, you need to report events to the ATO by the due date for lodging the SMSF's Annual Return for the Financial Year in which the event occurs.

To determine the reporting frequency of your SMSF, please visit our website here.

+ Does ESUPERFUND attend to the lodgement of TBAR for my SMSF?

Yes. We are pleased to advise that ESUPERFUND attends to the preparation and submission of the TBAR on your behalf at no additional cost! This is unprecedented in today's market!

+ I have a Retirement Phase Income Stream (e.g. Defined Benefit Pension) with another Super Provider, can ESUPERFUND attend to TBAR for that external Pension?

No. ESUPERFUND only attends to TBAR for Retirement Phase Income Streams established by us. If you have a Pension with another Superfund, please contact them directly.

+ When does ESUPERFUND collect information from me?

If your SMSF is required to report TBAR on a quarterly basis, you will receive a reminder from ESUPERFUND via the Client Portal Inbox in the first week of every quarter. The reminder will detail the information required by our office.

If your SMSF is required to report TBAR on annual basis, ESUPERFUND will lodge TBAR automatically after your Fund’s Annual Return for the previous Financial Year has been completed. No information is required separately unless you have been contacted by the ATO to remove an excess from your Transfer Balance Account.

If you have been contacted by the ATO to remove an excess from your Transfer Balance Account (e.g. you have been issued an Excess Transfer Balance Determination / Commutation Authority), you should contact ESUPERFUND via the Client Portal Inbox at your earliest convenience.

+ What information do I need to provide to ESUPERFUND?

In order to collect information from you, please click here to visit the Client Portal – TBAR page. On that page, you can view the TBAR events that are already known to ESUPERFUND. If there are additional reportable events (see examples below), please click to provide the information.

Listed below are the most common events that need to be reported under the TBAR Framework and whether information is required from you:

Event Information Required from Trustees?
Commencement of a new Retirement Phase Pension Income Stream. No. ESUPERFUND has all the information.
Transferring member’s balance in the Retirement Phase Pension back into the Accumulation Account of the SMSF (known as rollback). No. ESUPERFUND has all the information.
Lump sum withdrawals (i.e. not pension withdrawals) made from the member’s Retirement Phase Pension.
  • Quarterly Reporting: Yes
  • Annual Reporting: No (ESUPERFUND will obtain information from the SMSF Annual Return)
Transferring member’s balance in the Retirement Phase Pension to another superannuation provider (known as rollout).
You have commenced a TRIS previously and have since entered the Retirement Phase due to reaching age 65 / declaring retirement. Yes. As soon as you reach age 65 / declare retirement with ESUPERFUND.
Responding to an Excess Transfer Balance Determination issued by the ATO since the member exceeded the Transfer Balance Cap. Yes. As soon as you have removed the excess via lump sum withdrawals
Responding to a Commutation Authority issued by the ATO since the member failed to respond to the Excess Transfer Balance Determination within 60 days of its issue date. Yes. As soon as you have removed the excess via lump sum withdrawals
+ What are the common mistakes made by SMSF Trustees when providing information to ESUPERFUND?
Mistake What is the issue?
Report pension withdrawals Pension withdrawals do not affect the balance of your Transfer Balance Account and are not required to be reported under TBAR.
Report contributions Additional contributions after the commencement of your existing Pension are allocated to your Accumulation Account and are not required to be reported under TBAR.
Report SMSF-related expenses / Refund of excess contributions These transactions do not affect the balance of your Transfer Balance Account and are not required to be reported under TBAR.
Change of Pension balance due to investment earnings / losses Investment earnings and losses on your superannuation interests do not affect the balance of your Transfer Balance Account and are not required to be reported under TBAR.
Re-valuing Pension balance on 1 July each year
Combining multiple transactions Please add a separate event for every single transaction made via your SMSF bank account.
+ What are the differences between lump sum withdrawals and pension withdrawals?

We advise that lump sum withdrawals cannot be used to meet the minimum pension requirement of your Pension.

If you intend to withdraw only the minimum pension amount during the Financial Year, the amount withdrawn must be treated as a pension withdrawal. Pension withdrawals are not required to be reported under TBAR.

If your withdrawals exceed the minimum pension amount during the Financial Year, you may treat the excess as either pension withdrawals or lump sum withdrawals. The differences between these two withdrawal types are explained on our website here. Lump sum withdrawals are required to be reported under TBAR.

+ I received the TBAR lodgement reminder from ESUPERFUND but I have no reportable events, what should I do?

If you have no reportable events (e.g. there are no lump sum withdrawals / rollovers to another Superfund and you have never exceeded the Transfer Balance Cap), then you can simply disregard the reminder. You do not need to notify ESUPERFUND / the ATO if there are no events to report.

+ The reporting frequency on the Client Portal – TBAR page is incorrect, what should I do?

If based on ESUPERFUND’s available data, your SMSF must lodge TBAR quarterly, the frequency has been set to “Quarterly” and you cannot change the reporting frequency.

Otherwise, “Annually” is selected as the default option for your SMSF. If you accidentally changed the frequency to “Quarterly” by mistake, please contact ESUPERFUND via the Client Portal Inbox.

+ I have already reported some events to the ATO by myself, what should I do now?

If you have already reported any events to the ATO by yourself, please contact ESUPERFUND via the Client Portal Inbox immediately and advise the value you reported. We will then contact the ATO to cancel the event reported by ESUPERFUND to avoid double reporting.

+ How long does it take for the ATO to update my Transfer Balance Cap (TBC) on myGov?

Please allow for at least 28 business days for the ATO to update the information in their system. After this period, you can view your Transfer Balance Account Balance using the ATO online services through myGov or contact the ATO on 13 10 20 directly.