Time running out for SMSFs to get SuperStream ready

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Time is running out for SMSF to get ready for SuperStream, if they haven’t already. From 1 July 2015 all businesses should be using SuperStream, the new electronic system for transferring data about superannuation contributions.

Large employers started using SuperStream from 1 July 2014, and should fully comply with the data transfer standard by 1 July 2015. This is also the date for small employers to start using SuperStream, they have until 1 July 2016 to complete their implementation.

For SuperStream purposes a large employer is one with 20 or more employees, a small employer has 19 for fewer employees.

When should an SMSF be ready for SuperStream?

SMSFs, where required, should have been ready to use SuperStream from 3 November 2014, following an extension from 1 July 2014. However, SMSFs receiving contributions from small employers may not receive any SuperStream transactions until July 2015. Though employers could choose to implement SuperStream sooner.

SuperStream is a new electronic method of transferring data about superannuation contributions, and was one of the Stronger Super reforms.

Note that not all SMSFs are required to use SuperStream, with exemptions for funds which:

  • don’t receive employer contributions
  • only receives member contributions
  • only receives contributions from related-party employers

These funds can continue to use current processes. For more detail about the exemption, see the ATO website.

What details does an SMSF need to give to an employer?

In order for an employer to make contributions to an SMSF using SuperStream they need to know the following details of the SMSF:

  • ABN
  • Bank account number and BSB
  • Electronic Service Address

The ATO makes it clear that the Electronic Service Address (ESA) is not the email address, it seems there has been some confusion on that matter. The ESA is a new part of the SuperStream system and used to identify the intermediary, or SMSF Messaging Provider.

The ATO maintains a register of SMSF Messaging Providers.

“Using an SMSF messaging provider is the most practical and economic way to meet the technical requirements of the SuperStream standard,” says the ATO.

“You should review all of your options and discuss them with your SMSF professional or adviser to determine which messaging provider is right for you.”

The ATO says that around 60% of SMSFs have already taken these steps, but “time is now running out for all impacted members to complete this task and ensure the information has been passed to their employer.”

“We recommend that self-managed super funds provide these details to their employer at least 30 days prior to when the employer will start sending contributions using SuperStream. This will allow enough time for the employer to manage the changes and ensures the SMSF has met their obligation and has no interruption in maintaining their contributions flow” said Philip Hind, ATO’s National Program Manager of SuperStream.

What if SMSFs doesn’t give the details to an employer?

SMSFs which haven’t provided the relevant details to employers risk having contributions made to a default superannuation fund.

Employers can request a completed standard choice form, which has been updated for SuperStream, be completed within a reasonable period of time. Otherwise the employer may make the contributions to the default super fund.

SuperStream webinars for employers and tax professionals

The ATO is conducting a series of webinars on SuperStream, the ones currently scheduled are:

SuperStream webinars for Employers:

  • Thursday 14th May 2015

SuperStream webinars for accounting professionals:

  • Tuesday 19th of May 2015

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This article, as with all content on this site, is for informational purposes only, and is not legal, financial, tax or other advice. Please read our Terms and Conditions of Use.

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