SuperStream requirements on hold until June 2015

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Superannuation funds have been granted an extension until July 1 next year to meet the new ‘SuperStream’ requirements.

The Minister for Finance and Acting Assistant Treasurer, Senator Mathias Cormann, flagged this extension in a Government release on 26 May.

SuperStream is a government reform that standardises the format of data used in the electronic communication of superannuation instructions. The goal is to improve the efficiency of the superannuation system, to improve the timeliness of processing of rollovers and contributions, and reduce the number of lost accounts and unclaimed monies.

Jordan George from the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) said that although the majority of superannuation funds would be prepared for the change by 1 June 2014, the announced time extension will provide time and “certainty” for the compliance of all funds.

“The previous 1 July 2014 start date had a ‘soft delay’ until 3 November 2014, as proposed by a draft ATO legislative instrument, which allowed funds that had notified the ATO that they would not comply by this date extra time to comply,” says George.

“This announcement provides more time and greater certainty for employers and SMSF trustees who still need to take action to comply with the SuperStream contribution standards.”

Employers will forward data of superannuation contributions in a standardised format, and can now take until 1 July 2015 to get prepared for the change. So how can self-managed super trustees make use of this extra time?

“For SMSFs, the extra time will ensure that SMSF trustees have obtained an electronic service address which allows the SMSF to receive contribution messages in the SuperStream standard format from their employers,” says George.

“An electronic service address can be obtained through an SMSF messaging provider either standalone or through an SMSF administrative service. The delay will also allow extra time for trustees to provide their SMSFs ABN, bank detail and electronic service address to their employer to allow them to make contributions to their SMSF.”