Employers can now opt-in to SuperStream

The federal government’s new standard for making superannuation payments, SuperStream, is now available for employers. 

SuperStream enables employers to make super contributions to employees’ super funds electronically by using linked data and payments. Employers were able to opt-in to the service from July 1 2014.

All payments towards employees’ super funds are to be treated the same way no matter what type of fund the employee has set up – a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) fund, a default fund or a super fund of their choice.

Australia Taxation Office (ATO) National Program Manager of Data Standards and E-Commerce (SuperStream) Philip Hind said in a June ATO press release that SuperStream will make the process of super contributions more transparent. There will also be long term benefits for SMSFs as they will no longer need to spend a long time sorting through paper records in order to meet tax or accounting obligations.

“Put simply, SuperStream will make the transfer from employer to the SMSF easier and quicker, while ensuring consistent information and electronic payments,” said Mr Hind.

“The changes mean SMSFs get paid directly to their accounts in the most timely manner possible and real-time remittance information allows trustees to detect any errors or adjustments needed straight away.”

In a February press release the ATO stated it is important for businesses who have employees on SMSFs to take note of the new changes.

As of July 1 2014, SMSFs are required to receive electronic contributions from employers. Large or medium-sized business employers (businesses that have at least 20 employees) have until June 30 2015 to make the changes to how they deliver superannuation payments to SMSFs. Businesses with 19 employees or fewer will be able to opt-in for this service as of July 1 2015 and have until June 30 2016 to make the changes.

APRA funds have until July 1 2015 to comply with the SuperStream standard, while having flexibility to choose an alternative start date. The start date must be before July 1 2015 and the ATO needs to be notified of the date and provided with an implementation plan by September 30 2014. APRA funds also have the flexibility to receive or begin compliant contributions before or on November 3 2014. 

If you are concerned with how the changes may affect your business in Queensland, talk to a Brisbane employment lawyer.