The SuperStream standard is aimed at improving the efficiency of the superannuation system through electronic processing. It is part of the government’s Super Reform package.

Employers with 20 or more employees – and SMSFs receiving contributions from these employers – have been required to use the SuperStream standard since 1 July 2014.

Employers with 19 or fewer employees – and SMSFs receiving contributions from these employers – have an obligation to start using the standard from 1 July 2015. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will provide flexibility until 30 June 2016 for you to complete your transition-in, provided you have put in place firm implementation plans, including a proposed start date. However, you do not have to wait for these dates and may begin using the standard earlier.

For employers, implementing the standard may include having acceptable alternative arrangements in place with a super fund regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). These arrangements form part of the transition-in plans and are permitted until 30 June 2017. Your default fund will inform you of these options if they are available.

After the first 12 months of implementation of each phase, the ATO will gradually increase its focus on compliance with the standard. The ATO may contact you to determine how you are progressing, whether you are encountering any difficulties, and to remind you of your responsibilities under SuperStream.

how SuperStream affects the way you make contributions

Under SuperStream, employers must make super contributions electronically. The contribution data is sent electronically in a message to the fund, and the contribution payment is sent electronically through the banking system.

The data message and payment are linked by a payment reference number, which enables reconciliation by the receiving fund.

Many of the key components required for this change, including e-commerce infrastructure and software solutions, are already in use in the marketplace.

Employers have two options for meeting SuperStream – either using a:

  • software solution that conforms to SuperStream
  • service provider who can arrange SuperStream compliance on your behalf.

Fund information required for SuperStream compliance

You will need to collect and store additional information about funds in order to send them contributions in accordance with the SuperStream standard.

This includes the following new information:

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