Protecting your super


The Protecting Your Superannuation legislation is designed to protect your super savings from being eroded, particularly if you have a low account balance. These changes became effective on 1 July 2019. 

If your super balance is less than $6,000 or you have insurance through your super, it’s worth understanding how these changes may impact you.

Fee caps on your low-balance accounts, and the removal of exit fees

If the balance in any of your super accounts is less than $6,000, certain fees and costs1, 2 charged to you by the super fund will be capped and you won’t pay more than 3% pa of the account balance for these fees and costs. We’ll assess your balances at annual reporting time (or when you exit) and if you’ve paid more than 3% pa in fees and costs on any account with a balance of less than $6,000, you’ll be refunded the difference.

Exit fees on any super account have been removed, effective 1 July 2019.

Cancellation of insurance provided through your super account if your account is inactive

You may have insurance through your super in the following instances:

  • You have life and disability insurance if you are or were part of an employer plan.
  • You selected insurance as a product feature.
  • You use your Wrap super account to pay your retail insurance policy premiums.

From 1 July 2019, we’re unable to provide insurance through super if your account is inactive, unless you tell us you wish to keep your cover. An account is considered inactive if no contribution or rollover has been paid into the account for 16 months.

We’ll let you know that your insurance might be cancelled before taking any action. If you want to keep your insurance, you can let us know by completing and returning  Choose to Keep my Insurance Cover form to us. Regular super contributions or rollovers will also keep your account active and your insurance policy in place, provided there are sufficient funds in your super account to pay the insurance premiums.

You can find out more about these changes here.

The transfer of your inactive, low-balance super accounts to the ATO

If your super balance is less than $6,000 on 30 June or 31 December each year, and the account is inactive3, we may be required to transfer your balance to the ATO. This doesn’t apply to pension and defined benefit accounts, or accounts that provide insurance cover.

When is your super account exempt from the ATO transfer?

The requirement to transfer super balances to the ATO doesn’t apply where:

  • You hold a pension or defined benefit account.
  • You’ve met a condition of release to receive your super benefit in cash (such as reaching age 65, or your preservation age if you’ve retired).
  • You receive insurance cover through your super account and you’ve provided us with a Choose to Keep my Insurance Cover form.

Also, if none of the above exemptions applies to you, your account may still be exempt from the ATO transfer if any of the following happened in the past 16 months:

  • contributions or rollovers were paid into your account
  • you changed your investment options
  • you changed or elected to cancel your insurance cover (where your insurance cover is provided through your super account)
  • you made or amended a binding beneficiary nomination, or
  • you completed our authority form, asking that your inactive, low-balance account not be transferred4.

We’ll assess your super account every June and December to check whether it meets the inactive criteria. We’ll let you know if you are impacted before taking any action.

If you’re impacted and you don’t want your account sent to the ATO, you’ll need to complete our authority form and send it to us before the advised response date. We’ll also send you this form when we notify you about the transfer.

If we don’t hear from you by the response date, the money in your account will be transferred to the ATO. If you want your money returned, you’ll need to contact the ATO directly. You can instruct the ATO where to send your account balance or you can wait for the ATO to consolidate the amount into your active account, which receives regular contributions. You will be able to view your account balance and find more information on the ATO website.


1   These fees and costs charged to you by the Trustee, may include administration fees, investment fees and indirect costs.  

2   Wrap super members note: The Trustee does not charge investment costs for the MLC Wrap Super Series 2 or MLC Navigator Retirement Plan Series 2 products. Fees and costs related to the underlying investment options charged by investment managers, including but not limited to, fees and costs factored into the unit price, are excluded from this calculation. 

3   An account is inactive if it hasn’t received any contributions or rollovers for 16 consecutive months or more

4    A written declaration is not enduring. If your account becomes inactive again – if the criteria above apply – you’ll need to complete a new authority form to prevent the balance from automatically transferring to the ATO.  


Important information

This communication is issued by NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited (ABN 80 008 515 633, AFSL 236465) (NULIS). It is for general information and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before deciding to make a contribution to your superannuation, interested persons should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to their personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information contained in this communication is current as at 29 September 2023. Any changes in the law or policy subsequent to this date have not been incorporated in this material.

NULIS is the Trustee of the MLC Super Fund (ABN 70 732 426 024) and the MLC Superannuation Fund (ABN 40 022 701 955). NULIS is part of the group of companies comprising Insignia Financial Ltd (ABN 49 100 103 722) and its related bodies corporate (Insignia Financial Group). An investment with NULIS is not a deposit or liability of, and is not guaranteed by Insignia Financial Group. Neither NULIS nor any member of the Insignia Financial Group accepts any liability whatsoever for any decision that is made on the basis of or in reliance of the information contained in this material. NULIS is not a Registered Tax Agent and any tax information is of a general nature and should not be relied upon to determine your personal tax situation. It is recommended that you consult a professional tax adviser who is a Registered Tax Agent about your personal circumstances.