Does SuperStream apply to SMSFs?

Current as of August 2015

SuperStream is a Government reform aimed at improving the efficiency of the superannuation system to try to make the payment and reporting of superannuation for numerous employees more simple, streamlined and consistent.

Under SuperStream, employers must make superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees by submitting data and payments electronically in accordance with the SuperStream standard.

All superannuation funds, including self-managed super funds (SMSFs), must receive contributions electronically in accordance with this standard.

From 1 July, 2014:

  • Employers with 20 or more employees should have started using SuperStream, and
  • All super funds (including SMSFs) must receive any employer contributions sent to their fund in accordance with SuperStream.

From 1 July, 2015:

  • Employers with 19 or fewer employees are now required to send contributions data and payments electronically.

However, contributions sent to an SMSF from a related party employer are exempt from SuperStream and can be made using existing processes.

Employers with 20 or more employees should already be SuperStream compliant and probably use accounting or payroll software which helps those employers submit superannuation contributions data and payments electronically for their employees.

But what are the options for small employers (less than 20 employees with turnover of less than $2 million)? What are the options where the employees include related parties with SMSFs for the owners and/or other employees? What are the options for small employers that don’t use software?

  • Small employers are only exempt from SuperStream for payments to SMSFs for related parties (owners of the business).
  • All other employees’ superannuation contributions data and payments must now be submitted electronically, including to SMSFs for non-related parties.

Small business options to comply with SuperStream include:

Software packages – small employers can use accounting or payroll software (eg. MYOB or Xero) to help submit data and payments electronically.

Service providers – small employers can use a service provider to submit the data and payments electronically on their behalf.

Clearing house – small employers can use a clearing house to make one superannuation payment for all employees. The clearing house then submits the data and payments electronically to the various employees’ superannuation funds (NB: the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is free).

For more information, the Tax Office has some very good fact sheets – SuperStream: simplifying employer contributions (which includes video explanations) and SMSF’s: the superannuation standard for contributions. Alternatively, feel free to contact us to discuss your circumstances.

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