The SuperStream standard

The SuperStream data and payment standard started 1 July 2014 for businesses employing 20 or more employees. These employers need to ensure that they are fully compliant by 1 July 2015. Additionally, employers with fewer than 20 employees will need to start implementation of SuperStream from 1 July 2015. This blog seeks to raise awareness of SuperStream and what employers and SMSF need to do to become compliant.

What is SuperStream?

SuperStream is a standard for how employers pay employee’s superannuation contributions and communicate the details of those contributions to the recipient superannuation funds. In essence, it is a uniform system of electronically transmitting payment of contributions and accompanying information. The objective of SuperStream is to increase the speed and efficiency of the superannuation system.

What do employers need to do?

Employers can meet their SuperStream requirements by paying contributions electronically and by either:

– using SuperStream compliant payroll software; or
– using a service provider who can look after SuperStream compliance on their behalf.

Most accounting software packages are either compliant or in the process of becoming compliant.

Employers using accounting software packages should ensure that the version they are running is compliant.

Employers can access the ATO Product Register to check the compliance status of their software.

Other options are to use a clearing house like the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House or a compliant outsourced payroll provider.

Additionally, many superannuation funds offer solutions for employers like the low cost Australian Super product.

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What do Self Managed Superannuation Funds need to do?

SMSF need to ensure that they are equipped to receive contributions and the accompanying data. They do this by maintaining an Electronic Service Address (ESA). Note – SMSF receiving contributions from related party employers are not required to comply with SuperStream.

Leading SMSF accounting packages such as Class Super and Simple Fund offer ESA solutions. SMSF wishing to access these solutions should contact their accountants to make arrangements. Alternatively, there are other options available to SMSF such as the low cost Australia Post ESA solution.

Conclusion

The time to become SuperStream compliant is fast approaching. Whilst this task should not be overly complicated for employers and SMSF, action should be taken now to ensure a smooth transition to the SuperStream regime.

Employers and SMSF should contact their accountant for assistance.

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