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Employers warned to prepare for new super system

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Employers have been urged to prepare for major changes in the way they make superannuation contributions.

The Australian Taxation Office said its new SuperStream system, which will go into operation from 1 July, will make it simpler and cheaper for employers to make super contributions by eliminating unnecessary variation and complexity in the information required and the means of making payment.

“The need for reform of Australia’s superannuation system was highlighted in the 201 Cooper Review, which found the existing processes made poor use of technology, and there was no consistency in the data required and how funds deal with contributions,” ATO SuperStream National Program Manager Philip Hind said.

Under the system, all contributions will be made electronically and the ATO said employers would increasingly find that they could use a single channel in dealing with super funds, regardless of how many different ones their employees might contribute to.

“The main benefit for employers is that the SuperStream standard will simplify [their] experience,” Mr Hind said. “[It will] reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary variation and complexity that has crept into the system over recent years.”

The mandatory new system is being introduced in stages.

Large and medium-sized employers are expected to begin implementing SuperStream by the end of the year and complete implementation by mid-2015, while businesses with fewer than 20 employees will not be required to start using the system until July next year, with implementation to be completed by 30 June, 2016.

“All employers need to introduce changes in the way they currently make super contributions,” Mr Hind said, “[though] the ATO will provide flexibility and support to employers making a genuine attempt to comply with their obligations under SuperStream. This means you must have in place firm implementation plans.”

Adrian Rollins