Superannuation Data Standards – Are You Prepared?
Back in 2012 the Government established a framework to implement changes to employer super contributions as part of the SuperStream reforms.
These reforms were designed to improve the efficiency with which money and data flow around the superannuation system. Until now the changes have been mostly focused on larger entities.
By way of a reminder the changes apply to:
• employers making super contributions for their employees,
• superannuation funds receiving employer super contributions.
Employer Super Contributions
Employers will need to:
• pay all super contributions electronically,
• transfer information about the contributions to the relevant super funds electronically using an “electronic service address”.
Employers with 20 or more employees have until 30 June 2015 to complete their implementation and employers with less than 20 employees have until 30 June 2016. All employees, whether full time, part time or casual, are counted in determining which start date applies.
How to Comply
There is a long list of information that must be included in the electronic data message to the super fund. The employer will have to ensure that their payroll administrator is able to send such a message to the super fund.
An easy way to comply with the new rules is to use the services of a superannuation clearing house. A superannuation clearing house is a service that will pay multiple super funds from one data file and one payment received from an employer. The clearing house will have the technology to transfer the payment and data in the format required.
The Federal Government operates a free clearing house service for employers with less than 20 employees called the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House. For employers with 20 or more employees, service providers generally operate on a fee for service basis. Popular clearing houses currently operating include QuickSuper and SuperChoice.
Complimentary clearing house services are beginning to be offered by the big banks and some larger super funds to their existing clients. We expect these service offerings will become more common over time.
Self Managed Funds
Self managed superannuation funds that receive employer contributions must be able to receive the electronic payment and data details from employers.
There is an exception where the employer and self managed superannuation fund are related. Where the owners/controllers of the employer are also the members of the self managed superannuation fund the rules do not apply and no action is necessary.