SuperStream, the system for electronic transfer of superannuation contributions information, is delivering an estimated $3.2 billion a year in savings, according to the ATO.
The ATO says that 95% of superannuation payments are now digital, enabling faster rollovers and easier consolidation, leading to a “sustained” drop in the number of lost super accounts.
Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said: “SuperStream has fundamentally moved the previously manual process between funds and fund members to standardised electronic processing, across industry, with inbuilt security and efficiency savings for fund members. SuperStream now provides a modern platform for further efficiencies in the superannuation industry and the sharing of services from the ATO.”
The ATO estimates that SuperStream is saving super fund members $2.4 billion a year, in addition to the $400 million saved by employers and another $400 million by superannuation funds.
The ATO found 17 million fewer cheques per year were being handled by super funds, down 87% since the 2010 Cooper Review – which recommended improvements to ‘back office functions’.
ASFA chief executive Martin Fahy said it was pleasing that the substantial investment made by the superannuation industry was producing benefits for employers and members.
SuperStream, which the ATO calls “one of the largest ever changes to Australia’s financial system”, is estimated to have cost the superannuation industry $1.5 billion to implement.
AIST chief executive Eva Scheerlinck said the contribution of SuperStream to a better super system was “enormous”.
“The stronger protection of members’ savings through account consolidation and faster allocation of funds is real, sustained and substantial. SuperStream has built a base that we are continuing to work with the ATO on building a more efficient system,” Ms Scheerlinck said.