The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has recently been made aware of circumstances where a member of a SMSF commences a new market-linked pension and unintentionally exceeds their transfer balance cap.
An individual may have exceeded their transfer balance cap if they were receiving a life expectancy or market-linked pension just before 1 July 2017 (which was a capped defined benefit income stream) and then commuted the pension on or after 1 July 2017 and the transfer balance debit is nil under the special value rule in Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 subsection 294-1245(1); and then commenced a new market-linked pension.
The ATO has acknowledged these are unintended consequences associated with the current law and will not take compliance action at this stage provided an individual’s circumstances align with the above situation and:
- if a fund does not report the transfer balance account events of the commutation or the commencement of the new market-linked pension;
- where the fund has reported the transfer balance debit for the commutation as other than nil.