The SuperStream standard is part of the government’s Super Reform package. It will provide a consistent, reliable electronic method of transacting linked data and payments for superannuation. The goal is to improve the efficiency of the superannuation system, to improve the timeliness of processing of rollovers and contributions, and reduce the number of lost accounts and unclaimed monies.
- SuperStream is mandatory for all employers who make superannuation guarantee payments or any other superannuation contributions for employees.
- For small employers, SuperStream starts from 1 July 2015 and you have up to 12 months to be ready.
- Employers must provide the minimum data to the super fund or clearing house electronically.
- Ensure payments and data are linked by a unique payment reference number.
- Ensure data and payments are sent on the same day.
- Super funds are required to process contributions into the members account within 3 days.
- Superannuation funds are obliged to contact employers within 5 days if data is missing or invalid.
- Employers must respond to any requests from a super fund for missing information or queries relating to employee payments within 10 days.
- Funds will have to refund contributions within 20 working days if they cannot be allocated to an employee.
- It remains your responsibility as the employer to confirm that super contributions have been received, even if you use a clearing house or other service.
- The Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 requires you to provide a Standard Choice Form to your employees. This form will allow you to collect the required SuperStream related information from employees.
The Tax Office has information available for employers on their website and we have noted the following links for quick access:
- SuperStream data and payment standard
- Employer checklist: a step-by-step guide to preparing for SuperStream
- Video to get you started
What do you need to do?
The earlier you start, the sooner you’ll realise the benefits of SuperStream. You should aim to implement a SuperStream solution by March 2016 – this means you’ll have a few pay cycles to check everything is working and make changes if you need to.
How do you make SuperStream contributions?
Every business is different and there are several ways you can make the change to SuperStream. You should choose the solution that best suits your business needs.
You can use:
- upgraded payroll software
- a payroll provider or bureau
- your super fund’s electronic payment system, for example its online portal
- your default super fund’s electronic payment system, for example their online portal
- a superannuation clearing house, like the free Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.
1. Access your options: Ensure you have identified options to enable you to send contributions using SuperStream. Contact your payroll provider, super fund or clearing house about the SuperStream solutions that are available and will best fit your business needs.
2. Collect new information: You will need to collect information that will enable contributions to be sent to super funds using SuperStream, including the:
- Australian business number (ABN) of each super fund to which you will make contributions
- unique superannuation identifier (USI) which is used to identify where contributions need to be sent within large super funds
- SMSF bank account details
- SMSF electronic service address.
3. Communicate with your employees: To simplify the collection process, it is suggested that you notify employees with an SMSF of your intended date for implementing SuperStream and request SMSF SuperStream details be returned by the employee within a reasonable time (for example within 28 days).
Find out more If you do not receive the SMSF’s details by the date you have nominated for responding, and provided a reasonable response period has been given, you may ask your employee to complete a standard choice form and return this form to you within 28 days. If this information is not provided, your employee will be deemed as not having provided sufficient details for the choice fund to be accepted and you may redirect their contributions to the default fund of the employer.
4. Refine process: You should aim to finalise your preparations at least 30 days before you are required to start sending contributions using SuperStream. This will allow enough time to test new processes and resolve any issues that may arise.
Need help to make the change? You don’t need to prepare for SuperStream alone – your default super fund, payroll provider, clearing house or we can help.