What is SuperStream and How to Become SuperStream Compliant

The Australian government is definitely on a mission to stimulate the economy as it unveils SuperStream, which has the function of providing consistent and reliable electronic transactions for superannuation obligations.

What is SuperStream? SuperStream is the government’s solution to the persistent cases of lost superannuation accounts and unclaimed money. Aside from this apparent problem, it is also the Australian government’s goal to improve the overall efficiency of the superannuation system via on-time processing of contributions and rollovers by requiring employers make super contributions in behalf of their employees.

SuperStream Advantages

  • Up-to-date information and timely cash payouts when securing superannuation obligations
  • Enhanced automation and cost efficiency of payments and contributions processing
  • More accurate and reliable employee data and fund queries
  • Efficient super funds transaction through the use of a single payment channel regardless of the number of funds employees contribute to

Because of these SuperStream advantages, employers of varying business sizes can now relax thanks to the simplified payment platform which accounts for different arrangements with different accounts with varying contributions. With SuperStream, the government can ensure employer contributions are consistent, efficient, and on time.

How do I become SuperStream Compliant?

In order to achieve SuperStream Compliance, an employer must first adhere to the Data and Payments Standard, which requires employers to do the following:

  1. Send all superannuation contributions data electronically using a standard message format for uniformity.
  2. Make electronic contribution payments easier to identify by linking data and money with a unique payment reference number.
  3. Ensure Superannuation data and contribution payments are consistently sent on the same day.
  4. Provide complete superannuation fund information within 10 business days after received requests.

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SuperStream Key Dates

The effective date for the electronic payment for your employees’ superannuation contributions varies depending of the number of your employees.

If your business has 20 or more employees, then you must be complying to the SuperStream requirements on these dates:

 July 2015

  • Initial electronic payment of superannuation contributions
  • Start of transition compliance to SuperStream data format
  • End of transition compliance to SuperStream data format
  • Deadline of compliance to SuperStream data format
  • Data and payment standard-compliant contribution payments

 

If your business has 19 or fewer employees, then you must be complying with SuperStream requirements by these dates:

July 2016

  • Initial electronic payment of superannuation contributions
  • Start of transition compliance to SuperStream data format
  • End of transition compliance to SuperStream data format
  • Deadline of compliance to SuperStream data format
  • Data and payment standard-compliant contribution payments

 

Which SuperStream solution is for me?

The next step is to ensure every employee of your business has chosen a super fund for their government-mandated contributions. If an employee doesn’t have super funds for their superannuation contribution, an employer is legally required to choose a super fund for their employees.

Also called the default superannuation fund, this kind of employer-chosen fund can be assisted by a number of default superannuation funds in order to adhere to the Data and Payments standard. To be compliant, depending on your preference, you may choose either to use a Gateway or a Clearing House solution.

For businesses who wishes to leverage  technology, relevant payroll solutions, or expert service providers, going for the Gateway solution is the best for your business due to these following factors:

 

  • With the Gateway solution, employers get connect with their employees superannuation funds, regardless whether it’s default or choice funds, which allows a streamlined communication of contribution payment data.
  • Employers are required to provide superannuation-related data in one SuperStream compliant file format. This data will be forwarded to the default super fund stipulated by the employer and the choice fund data, stipulated by employees, will be forwarded to the Gateway for appropriate distribution between choice funds.
  • Employers will have to come up with their own electronic payment terms and arrangements for the default super fund and other choice funds chosen by their employees.
  • Due to the revised rules that render cheque payments unacceptable, every payment will have to comply with the new Data and Payment standard and should be paid with BPAY or BECS Direct Entry Standard.

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For employers who only want to remove the complexity from their superannuation payments or to those who pay a lot of different super funds, a good option is to go for a Clearing house.

  • Using the Clearing house solution, an employer gets to send their choice super fund payment and employee contribution payments to the proper super funds, regardless whether it’s default or choice funds.
  • Employers are only required to provide the government-mandated data in a single file format and a single payment transaction to the Clearing house of their choice, which in turn will process the other funds.
  • The Clearing house will determine the segregation of contribution files while ensuring it’s a Data and Payments standard-compliant format, before sending it to the appropriate funds through Gateway
  • The Clearing house will shoulder the responsibility of making separate BECS direct entry payments to every choice fund

 

Still confused about SuperStream Compliance?

Let us help you walk you through every step of the way towards SuperStream Compliance. Just contact us and let our team of trusted experts solve your superannuation problems quickly without the hassle and definitely without the stress!