“It was an important milestone for the superannuation industry when MYOB became the first payroll solution to be certified to send SuperStream contributions,” said Alison Lendon, ATO Deputy Commissioner for Superannuation.
SuperStream is a Government program to improve back-office super fund efficiency by creating an electronic standard for reporting and paying employer superannuation contributions.
The ATO is warning employers to “not to leave it too late” to get ready for SuperStream.
Philip Hind, ATO’s National Program Manager, Data Standards & E-Commerce (SuperStream), warned all large and medium-sized employer that the window to prepare for SuperStream “is closing fast.”
Employers with 20 or more employees need to comply with SuperStream by 30 June 2015. Small employers, those with fewer than 20 employees, have until 30 June 2016.
The ATO says that SMSFs should be ready for SuperStream from 3 November 2014.
SuperStream is the new electronic method of transmitting data about employer contributions to super funds. The ATO says this date is important because “by 3 November 2014, the majority of SuperStream solutions will have been tested and employers will be able to begin making payments through it.”
Large employers, those with 20 or more employees, began using SuperStream from 1 July 2014. There was some allowance made during the transition period – up to 3 November 2014. They have until 30 June 2015 to be compliant with the SuperStream standard.
ASFA, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, has asked what is achieved by proposed regulations which will require super funds to pass through contributions data submitted by employers.
“The release of the draft regulations is the first public indication that the government is giving serious consideration to regulating such a requirement,” said ASFA.
“The transactions were processed during the second week of August 2014 as part of the first group participating in the SuperStream induction process. The experience of this first group highlights the benefits which SuperStream will bring with an end-to-end flow of data and payments from employers to super funds.”
The ATO says that the SuperStream contributions data has been reconciled by the recipients, and that “there are no reported outstanding issues”.
The Treasury department has released draft SuperStream regulations for consultation which would reduce the number of different super funds too which employers will need to report contributions data. These changes, if registered, would mean that from 1 July 2015 employers would only have to report contributions data to their default… Read More »Easier employer contributions reporting under draft regulations
The ATO has released a video for tax professionals with advice for implementing SuperStream for clients, including businesses, SMSFs and as part of a SMSF administration service.
Some important things covered in the video:
- Employers can start using SuperStream from 1 July 2014
- The ATO expects most employers will be using SuperStream by December 2014
- SuperStream standardises contributions data “so whether contributions are being sent to a default fund, a major choice fund or an employee’s self-managed super fund (SMSF), super contributions are treated in a similar way”
- The ATO encourages all employers to have a plan to implement SuperStream – “the earlier a business transitions in to SuperStream, the earlier it will see the benefits and the less chance it will get caught short for time”
- The ATO is committed to raising awareness and educating in the first two years of the SuperStream process
The ATO has encouraged both SMSFs and employers to get ready for SuperStream.
SuperStream creates a new standard for employers to transmit data about superannuation contributions to super funds, including both SMSFs and APRA funds.
SuperStream for SMSFs
“Put simply, SuperStream will make the transfer from employer to the SMSF easier and quicker” said Mr Philip Hind, ATO’s National Program Manager, Data Standards & E-Commerce (SuperStream). Over the long term the ATO expects SuperStream to reduce the amount of paperwork for trustees, while providing electronic records for accounting and tax obligations.
Employers will start using SuperStream from 1 July 2014 and the “number of employers using SuperStream is anticipated to steadily increase over coming months” . Therefor the ATO says SMSF trustees should check with employers to find out when they are going to start sending contributions data via SuperStream so the SMSFs can “ensure they have all their details at least 60 days before the planned start date”. Mr Hind also said that it only takes a “matter of minutes” to sign up with an SMSF Messaging Provider, and it is a “once-off event”. The SMSF messaging provider gives an SMSF access to an Electronic Service Address (ESA) and is available “at low or no cost”.
Though at this state the “ATO is emphasising education and support for employers and the SMSF industry during the introduction of SuperStream” Mr Hind said that “SMSF trustees should not delay getting ready”.
The ATO includes the following items on the checklist for employees with an SMSF:
- Check with your employer about when they will start using SuperStream to send contributions data
- Check that your employer has all the details required about your SMSF “at least 60 days before their planned start date”
- Provide your employer with your SMSF’s ABN, ESA – Electronic Service Address and bank details
You can find the full checklist on the ATOs website.
The government announced yesterday (the 26th of May) that superannuation funds would have up-to 1 July 2015 to comply with the new SuperStream standards for sending and receiving electronic contributions data.
In a media release the Acting Assistant Treasurer Mathias Cormann said the change “increased flexibility for the superannuation industry as it continues to make the necessary changes to implement the SuperStream contributions data standards” and that “superannuation funds will have up to 1 July 2015 to meet the new standards”.
However the media release appears to be an over-simplification of the changes to the SuperStream standards. While the change may provide “increased flexibility” it will also likely result in confusion for SMSF trustees, with just over one month until the previous implementation date.
Update: the ATO has announced ‘compliance flexibility’ for small businesses which miss the SuperStream deadline.
SuperStream is part of the Stronger Super reforms designed to improve administrative efficiency in the superannuation system and reduce costs, partly by moving from paper-based records to electronic transactions. In stages, beginning 1 July 2013, APRA super funds, SMSFs and large and small employers will transition to using SuperStream for exchanging information regarding superannuation contributions and rollovers. The following important SuperStream dates come from the Superannuation Data and Payment Standards 2012 and ATO publications: