SuperStream - the basics

Employers will soon need to be SuperStream compliant when making super contributions. The following sections provide a brief overview about the SuperStream changes.

1. About SuperStream

What is SuperStream?

SuperStream is a package of reforms designed to enhance the 'back office' of superannuation and is part of the Australian Government's Stronger Super reform.

SuperStream provides a simpler, consistent method for making super contributions, registering new employee super accounts and providing associated data.

It is the employer's responsibility to ensure all required data and payments are provided in a SuperStream compliant format. However, BT Financial Group is assisting employers who have BT corporate super accounts with this responsibility by providing a solution that allows them to enter contributions and employee data in a SuperStream compliant format.

What's changing?

All employers and super funds will need to move to a new method of sending and receiving super contributions and associated data, both electronically and in a consistent format, known as the Superannuation Data and Payment Standards (SuperStream).

On 1 July 2013, most super funds started to rollover super benefits to other super funds in a format complying with SuperStream and are now preparing for the provision of SuperStream compliant contribution solutions for their employers.

To know when employers need to be making super contributions that comply with SuperStream – refer to 'When do employers have to start complying with SuperStream?'

What are the benefits of SuperStream?

SuperStream benefits include:

  • A single channel for interacting with multiple super funds (depending on the employer's chosen solution).
  • Improved cost and time efficiencies in meeting employer super obligations.
  • Reduced incidence of errors, meaning less time spent in fixing errors or queries from super funds.
  • Faster allocation of contributions to employees' accounts.

Who does SuperStream apply to?

All employers, APRA-regulated super funds and Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) will need to comply with SuperStream requirements when sending or receiving super contributions. However if the employer is a 'related party'* of an SMSF for the purposes of superannuation law then the employer is not required to make contributions to that SMSF in a SuperStream compliant format.

The definition of a related party for superannuation purposes is complex and you should seek professional tax advice if you believe this exception may apply to your situation. Further information about related parties is available at ato.gov.au.

When do employers have to start complying with SuperStream?

That depends on the size of the business.

If an employer has 20 or more employees, they will need to have moved to an electronic means of making super contributions that comply with SuperStream by 30 June 2015.

If an employer has 19 or fewer employees, they have until 30 June 2016, although an employer may choose to transition earlier.

Company Size :         Medium to large employer (20 or more employees)
Transition Period :    Between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 20151

Company Size :         Small employer (19 or fewer employees)
Transition Period :    Between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 20162

2. BT's SuperStream solution

For employers who use BTOE (BT Online Employer)

How can employers meet their SuperStream obligations?

To assist employers to meet their SuperStream compliance obligations we've made  changes to our BT Online Employer (BTOE) service. These changes allow employers to enter into a simple Transitional Arrangement with BT that will enable them to continue to use BTOE and be SuperStream compliant.

Since early 2015 a new pop-up window is displayed when employers login to BTOE. To enter into the BTOE Transitional Arrangement, employers will need to review the Terms and Conditions and agree by clicking 'Accept'.

A Transitional Arrangement allows an employer to continue to make contributions using an existing electronic method (such as their super fund's existing online service e.g. BTOE) provided certain conditions are satisfied.

The BT Transitional Arrangement is available to all employers registered on BTOE, irrespective of size, since February 2015.

Employers who currently use BTOE can continue to make super contributions using this service until the Transitional Arrangement is available.  The Transitional Arrangement was launched between February and March for employers with single pay centres and April 2015 for employers with multiple pay centres.

If employers would like to receive important updates, now is the best time to ensure we have your up-to-date information, most importantly the following:

    1. Employer email addresses
    2. Telephone contact numbers

And in addition:

    3. Employer ABN
    4. Employee TFN

Some employers may choose to engage a third party to assist them. Please see section, 'Choice employers - using a third party provider'.

Where can employers find the BTOE Transitional Arrangement?

The Terms and Conditions and Transitional Arrangement is a simple pop-up window on BTOE that employers will need to click 'Accept' to enter into a Transitional Arrangement.

What is the Transitional Arrangement?

A Transitional Arrangement is an option offered by the ATO that allows employers under Data and Payment Standards 2012 to meet their SuperStream obligations while using their super fund's existing online service offering.

A Transitional Arrangement allows an employer to continue to make contributions using an existing electronic method (such as their super fund's existing online service e.g. BTOE) provided certain conditions are satisfied.

The BT Transitional Arrangement is now available to all employers, irrespective of size.

What do employers registered in BTOE need to do?

To enter into a Transitional Arrangement with the Fund, the employer must agree to the following statement, "I certify and agree that I wish to enter into a Transitional Arrangement, in accordance with the Data and Payments Standard 2012", as detailed in the Terms and Conditions.

When will this be available?

The Transitional Arrangement pop-up window is now available to employers with single pay centres and will be available in April 2015 to employers with multiple pay centres.

What are the key benefits of the Transitional Arrangement?

  • There will be no major changes to user experience.
  • Employers will be able to comply with their SuperStream obligations, if they agree to the Transitional Arrangement.

What changes can employers registered in BTOE expect to see?

There are only a small number of changes to BTOE's pages and therefore user experience.

  • Minor changes may require employers to validate their details and provide additional employee data when processing transactions.
  • Employers must agree to the new Terms and Conditions to enter into a Transitional Arrangement and be compliant under SuperStream.

How should employers register new employees?

If an employer currently uses BTOE, they can continue to register new employees just as they do now until we contact them about our longer-term SuperStream solution.

For employers who are not using BTOE but have a BT Employer Plan

Register here

Employers with either a BTBS (BT Business Super) or an LSEP (Lifetime Super Employer Plan) should register now with BT Online Employer (BTOE) to be SuperStream compliant.

BT is now offering SuperStream compliant Transitional Arrangement that allow employers using BTOE to become SuperStream compliant.

Which new employees do I need to register?

Employers must make a new Member Registration Request (MRR) for all new employees registered with their employer super fund. Employers do not need to register employees who have asked them to pay contributions to their SMSF or another chosen fund.

Any new employees who do not choose a super fund must be registered with the employer's default super fund.

When do I need to register a new employee?

Employers need to register a new employee with their default super fund either before or at the time they process the first superannuation contribution for the employee.

What information will I need for my employees not in our BT employer fund?

BT's SuperStream compliant employer service will continue to allow employers to make super contributions for all of their employees (including employees with an alternative BT super fund or other external super fund). To help employers comply with their SuperStream obligations, however, we may need to ask employers for some additional information about those employees. We'll be in touch over the coming months to let employers know if they need to provide any new information.

For Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs)

SMSF

All employers, APRA-regulated super funds and Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) will need to comply with SuperStream requirements when sending or receiving super contributions.

SMSF Trustees must register for an Electronic Service Address (ESA) should they receive employer contributions (other than from a related employer) into their SMSF. The ATO has published a list of providers on their website.

If employers currently make super contributions to Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) for any employees, the employer may need to collect the following additional information to make contributions using SuperStream:

  • SMSF ABN
  • SMSF bank account details
  • SMSF Electronic Service Address (or alias), which should be provided by the employee to the employer. 

If, however, the employer is a 'related party' of the SMSF for the purposes of superannuation law, they are not required to make contributions to that SMSF using SuperStream. Employers should seek professional tax advice to determine whether they are a related party of an SMSF.

The definition of a related party for superannuation purposes is complex and you should seek professional tax advice if you believe this exception may apply to your situation. Further information about related parties is available at ato.gov.au.

The ATO has updated the Superannuation Standard Choice form to include this new SMSF information, making it easy for employers to collect this from new employees who request super contributions to their SMSF.

How can an SMSF obtain an Electronic Service Address (ESA or alias)?

Employees with SMSFs are required to provide their employer with an Electronic Service Address to be able to receive data messages associated with the employer contributions sent using SuperStream. The Electronic Service Address (or alias) is used to identify where contribution messages for a SMSF are to be sent. It is the responsibility of the SMSF to provide this to their employer.

To help employees with SMSFs register and obtain an Electronic Service Address, the ATO have published two registers of SuperStream messaging providers.

For employers who don't have a BT Employer Plan

Using a third party provider

Employers may choose to engage a third party service provider such as a payroll provider or a clearing house service to assist them in meeting their obligations. If an employer has 19 or fewer employees they may also consider using the ATO's Small Business Superannuation Clearing House to help employers meet their SuperStream obligations.

If you would like to know more about BT's SuperStream offering, speak to one of our super specialists now to discuss whether it's right for you.

Call us on 132 135 (Mon – Fri, 8.00am – 6.30pm AEST) 

Email us at customer.relations@btfinancialgroup.com

When is BT able to receive SuperStream contributions from other providers?

We have utilised the ATO's Fund Validation Service (FVS) to communicate with other funds, employers and SuperStream service providers (ie Gateway providers, payroll providers, clearing house services, etc) and are ready to receive employer contributions using SuperStream.

Employers who wish to make contributions in compliance with SuperStream, please refer to our table of SPINs, USIs and relevant ABNs necessary to make these contributions.

What is a USI (Unique Superannuation Identifier) and why do I need it to make super contributions?

All super entities, other than SMSFs (Self-Managed Super Funds), must have at least one USI (most super funds have assigned USIs at the product level). A USI can be the entity’s ABN followed by 3 numerals or a product SPIN (Superannuation Product Identification Number). A USI is key to obtaining bank account details and an Electronic Service Address for a contribution.

Employers who wish to make contributions in compliance with SuperStream, please refer to our table of SPINs, USIs and relevant ABNs necessary to make these contributions.

BT is not my default super fund and I want to register a new member

Employers may wish to contact their default super fund or their chosen third party service provider such as a payroll provider or clearing house to understand how they plan to help them register new employees.

What employee information will choice employers need?

The ATO has published a table of contribution data required for SuperStream.

The ATO has also updated the Superannuation Standard choice form to include the super fund USI, making it easy for employers to collect this from new employees who request their super to be contributed to a super fund other than the employer's default fund.

Which new employees do I need to register?

Employers must make a new Member Registration Request (MRR) for all new employees registered with their default employer super fund. Employers do not need to register employees who have asked them to pay contributions to their SMSF or another chosen fund.

Any new employees who do not choose a super fund must be registered with the employer's default super fund.

When do I need to register a new employee?

Employers need to register a new employee with their default fund either before or at the time employers make the first superannuation contribution for the employee.

3. Making super contributions

Into a BT super account

BT has pulled together a selection of forms and information that can be used to assist employers in making a contribution or a rollover into a BT account.

How do employers currently pay contributions?

I use BT Online Employer (BTOE)

If an employer currently uses BTOE, they can continue to make super contributions just as they do now and can enter into a SuperStream compliant solution with us.

I use a third party provider eg ADP, MYOB

Many payroll providers, clearing house services and other third party providers are updating their services to become SuperStream compliant. If the service provider hasn't already contacted employers to let them know what their plans are with respect to SuperStream, employers may wish to contact them directly. Employers can continue to use a third party provider, as long as they are able to offer employers a SuperStream compliant service within the compliance timeframe and according to the size of the employer's business.

I use BPAY, EFT or direct debit

BPAY, EFT and direct debit are currently acceptable payment methods. However, all employers and super funds will need to move to a new method of sending and receiving super contributions and associated data, both electronically and in a consistent format, known as the Superannuation Data and Payment Standards 2012.

I write cheques

If an employer currently pays super by sending cheques to their employee's super funds, employers will need to transition to an electronic payment method that complies with SuperStream by the date required, according to the size of employer's business. In the meantime, employers can keep making contributions as they do now.

If an employer has 20 or more employees, they will need to have moved to, or be in the process of transitioning to, an electronic means of making super contributions that comply with SuperStream by 30 June 2015.

If an employer has 19 or fewer employees, they have until 30 June 2016, although a small employer may choose to transition earlier.

4. SuperStream Glossary

SuperStream Glossary

ATO
Australian Taxation Office

BT Online
Online service for members of BT Lifetime Super Employer Plan and BT Business Super.

BT Online Employer
Online employer service for employers with a default employer plan in BT Lifetime Super Employer Plan or BT Business Super.

Choice of Fund
Since 1 July 2005, many employees have been able to choose the super fund that will receive their Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions.
As an employer you are required to provide a Standard Choice form to eligible new employees. If a new employee chooses a super fund you must start to make contributions to this fund after two months. Contributions for employees who do not choose a super fund need to be made to your default super fund.

Clearing House
A clearing service that employers can use to distribute all employee super contributions to multiple super funds. Many default super funds offer clearing services to employers for their superannuation transactions.

Default super fund
Employers are required to select a default super fund for their employees who are not eligible or do not choose a super fund to receive their Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions.

ESA (Electronic Service Address or alias)
An ESA identifies where contribution messages for a super fund are to be sent. An ESA for a Self Managed Super Fund may also be referred to as an alias.

FVS (Fund Validation Service)
The Fund Validation Service is a free ATO service that allows employers, superannuation funds and SuperStream service providers to look-up or validate e-commerce details of a super fund.

Rollover
The transfer of superannuation benefits from one super fund to another super fund.

Small Business Superannuation Clearing House
The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is a free online super payments service that helps small businesses with 19 or fewer employees meet their Super Guarantee obligations.

SMSF (Self Managed Super Fund)
A self-managed super fund can have up to 4 members and must be run for the sole purpose of providing death or retirement benefits for the members or the members' dependents. All members of the SMSF must be either individual trustees or directors of the corporate trustees. SMSFs provide a way of saving for your retirement. The difference between an SMSF and other types of fund is that the members of an SMSF are usually also the trustees. This means the members of the SMSF run it for their own benefit and are responsible for complying with super and tax laws.

Stronger Super
The 2007-2013 Australian Government's response to reforms arising from the review into the governance, efficiency, structure and operation of Australia's superannuation system (Super System Review). The Stronger Super package of reforms includes MySuper and SuperStream as well as changes to improve the governance and integrity of the superannuation system.

SuperStream
SuperStream is part of the Australian Government's Stronger Super reform. SuperStream's aim is to make processing everyday superannuation transactions easier, cheaper, faster and more efficient. SuperStream will assist to facilitate the timely and effective processing of rollovers and contributions.

Transitional Arrangement
A transitional SuperStream option that allows an employer to continue to make contributions using an existing electronic method (such as their super fund's existing online service) provided certain conditions are satisfied.

USI (Unique Superannuation Identifier)
All super entities, other than SMSFs, must have at least one USI (most super funds have assigned USIs at the product level). A USI can be the entity's ABN followed by 3 numerals or a product SPIN. A USI is key to obtaining bank account details and an Electronic Service Address for a contribution.

1. In June 2015, the ATO announced that medium to large employers have until 31 October 2015 to be fully SuperStream compliant and the ATO will not take direct compliance action against employers who miss the 30 June deadline. From 1 November 2015, the ATO will increase its focus on employers not complying with their SuperStream obligations and may issue direction notices and apply penalties for non-compliance.

2. Small employers can move to a SuperStream compliant solution before their transition period commences.