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The ATO is encouraging employers to prepare for the introduction of SuperStream which is changing the way they make superannuation contributions.
SuperStream introduces a new standard for all employers which involves making super contributions electronically with linked data and payments. All super contributions are treated in the same way – whether sent to a default or choice fund, an APRA fund or self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF).
The improvements mean employers will increasingly find that they can use a single channel when dealing with super funds, regardless of how many funds their employees contribute to.
In cooperation with their service provider or default fund, employers can already opt-in to use SuperStream which started from 1 July 2014.
“The main benefit for employers is that the SuperStream standard will simplify the employer experience and reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary variation and complexity that has crept into the system over recent years,” Mr Philip Hind ATO’s National Program Manager, Data Standards & E-Commerce (SuperStream) said.
“SuperStream is one of the most significant improvements to the compulsory superannuation system since its inception 20 years ago.
“All employers need to introduce changes in the way they currently make super contributions; although some who are already working electronically or have a clearing house partner will find these changes are relatively minor.”
The ATO expects most large and medium employers will implement SuperStream between July and December of this year. Small employers (those with 19 or fewer employers) have another year before they commence using SuperStream, starting from 1 July 2015 but completing their implementation by no later than 30 June 2016.
“All large and medium-sized employers need to prepare now to ensure they’re ready to transition to SuperStream at the earliest available opportunity,” Mr Hind said.
“The ATO will provide flexibility and support to employers making a genuine attempt to comply with their obligations under SuperStream. This means you must have in place firm implementation plans with your service provider or default fund including a proposed completion date. A large or medium employer must complete their implementation by no later than 30 June 2015 and a small employer by no later than June 2016.”
The ATO has developed a range of products, including a SuperStream video, a factsheet and a checklist to help employers understand SuperStream and assist them to find a solution to suit their business. Small businesses should start preparing now to take advantage of the new system. For more information, visit ato.gov.au/otherlanguages