Getting SMSF ready for SuperStream

Christine St Anne | 03/04/2014

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Christine St Anne: The government has introduced a new measure called SuperStream designed to modernize superannuation. To talk about the implications for SMSFs, I'm joined by SuperGuardian's, Olivia Long. Olivia, welcome.

Olivia Long: Hi.

St Anne: Olivia first of all, can you tell us a little bit more about SuperStream?

Long: SuperStream is a set of measures that came out of the Cooper Review 2010. Essentially it's the government's way of bringing the superannuation back office into the 21st century. So some of the key features include an increased use of technology, uniform data standards, the use of an tax file number as a key identifier and a straight through processing of superannuation transactions.

St Anne: So Olivia the measures apply to SMSF members who accept employer contributions. So what do they need to do?

Long: So essentially for the past few years our providers have been upgrading a software. So that they can accept electronic superannuation messages, but it's not quite so simple for SMSF. So I consider it this way, if the employers are sending out superannuation payment information electronically, there needs to be some form on behalf of the SMSF to collect that information and pass it on to the members. So it's quite straight forward where they're using an SMSF accountant or administrator, because our software and I was asked to do that on their behalf, but for those that aren't they need to consider appointing some form of intermediary to act as electronic server address and collect that information for them.

St Anne: Olivia, so what are the key dates to be aware of?

Long: Okay. So by the 31 of May most SMSF members need to notify their employers of the electronic servers address and their banking information. By the first of July all employers with more than 20 employees need to implement the new electronic process. From 1 July 2015 those employers that have less than 20 employees need to implement as well. So there are two key dates there depending on the size of the organization you work for.

St Anne: Finally, Olivia I'm sensing involvement from the ATO, any tips for SMSF members?

Long: Absolutely, recently the ATO have written to a number of SMSF members to let them know what their obligations are, and what the key dates are. The ATO have significant amount of information available on their website to assist trustees with understanding what their obligations are, but also at least in the panel of providers who can help them and that is the – as the intermediary.

St Anne: Olivia thanks again for your insights.

Long: My pleasure.

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