SuperStream is making super contributions simple, by requiring employers to process superannuation contributions electronically in a standard format and with a minimum set of agreed information. It will reduce administrative costs across the system and protect individuals’ retirement savings by ensuring contributions reach the right account quickly, efficiently and with fewer errors. Over 250,000 employers have now adopted the process, making over two million super contributions each month, including to SMSFs.
Every day, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) hears good news about employers who are saving time and money, as well as cutting down on paperwork when paying super for their employees. We encourage all employers to adopt SuperStream. Our outreach activities reaches employers directly and through key touch points, such as their super funds, payroll software providers, industry bodies and accounting professionals.
For small employers – those with 19 or fewer employees – 1 July 2015 marked the start of SuperStream. These employers have until 30 June 2016 to make the change, but they should start preparing now. Medium to large employers – those with 20 or more employees – should already be well-progressed with their implementation.
One employer told me that they have cut the time spent processing super each month from a day to less than an hour. He likened the changes to the introduction of internet banking. After the initial set-up steps, things are much easier and faster than before.
It is also pleasing to see many accounting professionals helping their employer and SMSF clients with implementation. In addition to a range of communication activities dedicated to accounting professionals, we also offer more in-depth SuperStream information on our website. Employers that have not yet made the change should speak with their payroll software provider, accounting professional or super fund to help find a solution that best suits their business needs.
Small employers and those with turnover of less than $2 million have the option of using our free Small Business Superannuation Clearing House to meet their super guarantee and SuperStream obligations. They simply log in to make super payments and can opt to pre-populate employee information each time they pay.
The ATO has provided resources on its website, including:
- Employer checklist
- Frequently asked questions for employers
- Small Business Superannuation Clearing House
The ATO is pleased that employers and SMSFs are getting ready for SuperStream and benefiting from a simplified and consistent process. We continue to welcome the support of accountants and bookkeepers to help prepare their clients.
Philip Hind is the National Program Manager, Data Standards & E-commerce (SuperStream) at the Australian Taxation Office.