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SuperStream refers to a suite of measures introduced by the government designed to improve the efficiency of the superannuation system. It aims to provide a consistent and simplified way of making contributions.

What do employers need to do?

From 1 July 2016, all employers have been required to send contribution data and payments in an electronic format the fund is willing to accept. For Australian Retirement Trust, this excludes paper, email, and cheque methods of payment and data supply.

A key element of the SuperStream reforms is that it is mandatory for employers to comply with the Data and Payment Standard.

The Data and Payment Standard requires employers to:

  • send all contribution data electronically in a standard message format, or by an alternate arrangement such as a compliant fund portal,
  • make contribution payments electronically and link the data and money with a unique payment reference number,
  • ensure data and payments are sent on the same day, and
  • respond to fund requests for complete information within 10 business days.

How can employers ensure their data is sent in a compliant format?

Employers have a number of options to ensure they comply with the new legislation;

1. Use Australian Retirement Trust’s Employer Online (EOL) facility

Employers who pay employee contributions to Australian Retirement Trust using EOL will meet the SuperStream requirements.

2. Send your contributions using a payroll system or clearing house

If you usually pay employees’ super to multiple funds you may want to consider using a clearing house. Australian Retirement Trust offers a free clearing house service to eligible employers.

3. Use a software solution that sends contributions in the standard message format

If you choose to use this option it may mean you'll need to develop your own software solution or engage a third party.

Regardless of the format, employers need to ensure they provide:

  • the minimum member data,
  • a Payment Reference Number (PRN), and
  • the Unique Superannuation Identifier (USI) if paying to multiple funds.

What member data must employers provide?

All employers are required to provide the following member information when making the first contribution for an employee, regardless of payment method:

  • full name (family name and given name),
  • date of birth,
  • tax file number,
  • gender, and
  • residential address.

Unless after making reasonable efforts they are unable to obtain it from the employee.

Employers must then provide the following member information with every consequent contribution or an employee, regardless of method;

  • full name (family name and given name),
  • tax file number,
  • residential address, and
  • telephone number.

Unless after making reasonable efforts they are unable to obtain it from the employee.

What employer data must employers provide with contributions?

Depending on your SuperStream solution, you may have to provide additional employer data such as an email address, contact person or phone numbers when making a contribution. This is to ensure that data which cannot be matched and other exceptions can be corrected efficiently. We recommend that employers check with their clearing house, payroll or other third party SuperStream solution provider what, if any, additional details need to be provided.

What is a Payment Reference Number (PRN)?

This is a reference number which links the payment to the contribution data. This will be generated by either the employer’s payroll provider, clearing house or the super fund they submit their contributions through. Employers will not need to generate a PRN themselves.

Employers using Australian Retirement Trust’s Employer Online will find this number on the receipt screen once they’ve submitted their contribution.

What is the standard message format?

The standard message format allows member and contribution data to be sent between employers, funds, and clearing houses and gateways. It is not an email. The message must be in XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language), a specific format that contains certain information in both the message header and message content so that all recipients can understand the message and link it to electronic payments. XBRL is quite complex and an employer may have to engage a third party to develop this solution.

What are the SuperStream compliant payment methods?

  • Direct debit,
  • EFT, and
  • BPAY®.

Is individual BPAY an acceptable payment method?

No, individual BPAY is not an acceptable payment method under SuperStream as it does not comply with the new minimum member data requirements.

Can an employer just email Australian Retirement Trust a contribution file and EFT/BPAY the money?

No. Employers must submit data via Australian Retirement Trust Employer Online, their payroll system or clearing house to ensure files are received in the SuperStream compliant format.

What will happen if an employer sends data and contributions in a non-compliant format?

Australian Retirement Trust will still accept the contributions however they will not be SuperStream compliant. The ATO will help employers to comply with their obligations through education and support. Refer to the ATO’s Compliance Statement on the ATO’s website.

What is a Unique Superannuation Identifier (USI)?

This is the unique identifier used by a super fund. APRA regulated funds may use their SPIN as their USI or use their ABN with a three digit sequence number. SMSFs will use their ABN.

ABN: 60 905 115 063

Account name: Super Savings

USI: (USI replaces SPIN)
60 905 115 063 003

If you have a QSuper account, you will need the QSuper USI.

How will SuperStream be enforced?

The ATO will use a range of compliance enforcement options, such as issuing direction notices and applying administrative penalties of up to ten penalty units for those they deem non-compliant. It’s also worth noting that it is the company directors that hold the legal responsibility for meeting the SuperStream requirements as they will become personally liable for any penalties that are not paid by the due date.


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