• SuperStream: Employer requirements and deadlines

SuperStream refers to reforms introduced by the former Federal Labor Government to make the back office operation of superannuation funds more streamlined and efficient.

 

What is SuperStream?
SuperStream refers to reforms introduced by the former Federal Labor Government to make the back office operation of superannuation funds more streamlined and efficient.
SuperStream aims to:

  • ensure timely electronic processing of transactions
  • improve efficiency for both employers and super funds
  • remove the incidence of lost and duplicate accounts; and
  • create timely allocation of money to members’ accounts

A key element of SuperStream is the Data and Payment Standard which requires employers to send electronic contributions.

What is the Data and Payment Standard?
The Data and Payment Standard requires employers to:

  • send all contribution data electronically in a standard message format
  • make contribution payments electronically which links data and money with a unique payment reference number
  • ensure data and payments are sent on the same day, and
  • respond to fund requests for complete information within 10 business days

How do I know when I will be affected by the Data and Payment Standard?
All employers will be required to comply with the new standard by the due date.

The required due date for employers to comply with the new standard varies based on the number of employees employed:

  • 1 July 2014: Payment standards start to apply for employers with 20 or more employees
  • 1 July 2015: Payment standards start to apply for employees with 19 or fewer employees

Solutions available to Employers
When employees don't choose a super fund for their contributions the law requires their employer to choose a fund for them. This employer-nominated fund is known as a default superannuation fund.

A number of default superannuation funds provide assistance to employers to ensure they comply with the new data and payment standards, which include a gateway and a clearing house.

Gateway

  • a gateway connects employers with their relevant superannuation funds (default and other funds) enabling communication of contribution data
  • employers will have to provide all mandatory data in one compliant file format. The data will be sent to the nominated default super fund and the choice fund data will be sent to the gateway for distribution to the choice fund(s)
  • employers will need to make their own arrangements for electronic payment to the nominated default super fund and to the various choice super funds
  • each payment will need to comply with the new payment standard and be paid using the BECS Direct Entry standard or BPAY as cheque payments will not be accepted under the new standard

This solution will suit employers with IT capability, a payroll solution or a service provider that can produce compliant data files for the gateway, and provide BECS Direct Entry payment files through their bank.

Clearing house

  • a clearing house service enables an employer to send their choice superannuation payment and employee contributions to the relevant superannuation funds (default and choice funds)
  • employers will only have to provide mandatory data in one file format and one payment to the clearing house for all other funds
  • the clearing house will split the choice contribution file and create separate files in a compliant format, sending them to each of the other funds through the  gateway
  • the clearing house will make the separate BECS direct entry payments to each choice fund
  • this solution will suit employers who may not have sophisticated IT or payroll capabilities, and would like to simplify their superannuation payments
  • this could be particularly helpful to employers who currently pay super to many different funds

Click here for the SuperStream Employer Q&A flyer.

Chris Chan
Head of Corporate Superannuation
T +61 3 8663 6292
E chris.chan@au.gt.com