SMSF trustees paddle up the SuperStream
The trustees of more than 130,000 self-managed super funds will be receiving a letter from the ATO about their new electronic reporting obligations. The letter will tell the trustees they must ensure their fund complies with a new government reform – which applies to them from July 1, 2014 – aimed at improving the efficiency of the superannuation system.
This new data and e-commerce standard, called SuperStream, was a byproduct of the Cooper review into superannuation and was one of the measures in the Stronger Super reform package released by the then Labor government.
The reforms were designed to improve the administration of superannuation funds and included:
New data and e-commerce standards for super transactions.
The use of tax file numbers for members as the primary locator for members’ accounts.
Allowing for superannuation account consolidation.
Improved treatment of super contributions where there are insufficient member details.
The establishment of a body to advise the government on the implementation and maintenance of superannuation changes in standards.
This last measure became known as the Superannuation Guardians and has since been scrapped. Another reform scrapped by the Abbott government was a register to be maintained by the ATO of validated SMSF bank accounts. The reason for this having been scrapped is a mystery as it would have made it easier for super funds to establish that a bank account belonged to a complying SMSF and resulted in faster rollovers of members’ superannuation.
At the heart of the SuperStream system is a standard set of minimum conditions for the electronic transmission of superannuation data and payments. In all, there are five standards: business terms and conditions; data message formats; requirements for the communication and security of messages; electronic payments; and verification services.
The new system is being introduced in two stages. Super funds with members who work for a large or medium-size entity – defined as employing 20 or more people – must meet the new data and e-commerce standard from July 1, 2014. All other superannuation funds must comply from July 1, 2015.
To comply, members of an SMSF who are employed by a large or medium-size entity must update their superannuation details with their employer by May 31, 2014. In addition to providing their ABN and bank details, SMSFs must ensure they have signed up with a provider that allows for the electronic transfer of the super contribution and data.
Trustees of SMSFs who use an administration service, or an accountant who processes their superannuation fund’s accounts using a software package, should not have to do anything as the electronic service address for receipt of a contribution data message will be provided to them.
For those SMSF trustees not provided with the required data and e-commerce information, there are several alternatives. Some financial institutions will provide an electronic messaging service that meets the requirements for SMSFs that use their accounts.
One option for SMSF trustees will be an Australia Post service that ensures trustees can comply with the SuperStream data standards. This will cost $25 in the first year and $50 from June 2015.
Posted on March 12, 2014, in Accounting and tagged Accounting outsourcing, Accounting outsourcing australia, accounting outsourcing services, Australian accounting outsourcing, outsourcing accounting India, outsourcing accounting work, SMSF audit, SMSF outsourcing, super fund accounting. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.