Superannuation Administration Group key messages 23 June 2021
Larissa Evans opened the meeting with the acknowledgment to country and welcomed those in attendance.
Recent legislative changes – more flexible Superannuation
Sonia Corsini provided an update on the recent passage of legislation – More Flexible Superannuation.
Cut-off age for accessing the bring forward non-concessional contribution cap has increased from 65 years to 67 years. This change is retrospective to 1 July 2020.
From 1 July 2021, members who exceed their excess concessional contributions cap will no longer be liable to pay the excess contributions charge.
- Web guidance is being updated to reflect these changes.
COVID-19 Early Release of Superannuation (ERS) amounts can be recontributed from 1 July 2021 until 30 June 2030. These amounts:
- cannot exceed the total amount accessed by the member under COVID-19 ERS
- cannot be claimed as a personal superannuation contribution deduction
- will not be counted towards a member’s non-concessional cap.
In relation to recontribution the COVID-19 ERS measure, the ATO will keep this Group informed about:
- updated messaging that funds can share with members (noting fund rules may prevent certain funds accepting any contribution types)
- planned consultation about administrative design.
Post meeting note – out of session meeting has been scheduled for 1 July 2021 on the Re-contribution of COVID-19 ERS amounts.
Your Future, Your Super
Tracie Crowden provided an overview of the Your Future, Your Super measure.
The start date for the first phase of the Stapling Service has been delayed to 1 November 2021. This will enable more time to:
- communicate this new obligation to employers (where an employee does not exercise choice)
- offer an alternate solution for bulk stapling requests, for employers who frequently need to onboard a large number of employees.
The start date is still 1 July 2021 for phase two of the Stapling Service (the wholesale solution which integrates the Service into employers’ payroll systems). The ATO has begun working with digital service providers (DSPs) on how to make this an automated process.
Employers who do not comply with the new legislation will be given a transitional period to adjust to using the Stapling Service, before penalties are applied. Potential misuse of the Service will also be monitored.
The Comparison Tool will be available on 1 July 2021 and allows individuals to compare MySuper products. The information held on the Comparison Tool is based on data provided by Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), investment performance, fees etc. The comparison is based on age and balance to return results. It will be available as an authenticated version on myGov as well as an unauthenticated version on ATO online, filtering will be available on both versions. The ATO will track usage in the authenticated version.
Communications for employers and individuals is about to start via multiple channels. This is aimed at encouraging individuals to be engaged and informed when looking to choose a fund, or rollover between funds.
The ATO will share an information package, including screen shots on the Stapling Service which demonstrates to employers how to progress through the interim bulk solution and ATO online in due course. Clearing houses will also value this information.
Rollovers V3 update
Belinda Black provided an update on SuperStream rollovers version 3, including self-manage superannuation fund (SMSFs) rollovers and electronic release authorities.
The list of resources provided, available at either SuperStream Rollover v3 or Software DevelopersExternal Link, are being updated based on learnings from testing, implementation and onboarding.
Industry engagement is ongoing with the Rollovers v3 Implementation Forum, and the newly established SuperStream Rollover SMSF service providers meetings. These interactive groups meet on alternate fortnights.
Last month’s SMSF Rollovers and Release Authorities v3 Co-design group gave feedback on the current and future communication approach and resolved some outstanding action items. A webinar is planned for late June, in conjunction with the SMSF Association.
The project team has been supporting testing which is progressing well:
- Gateway to gateway (G2G) interoperability testing is complete.
- Only one gateway is yet to complete External Vendor Testing Environment testing.
- Another DSP completed Government to Business (G2B) testing last night.
- First cohort of Business to Business (B2B) testing commenced on 15 June involving one administrator, four APRA funds and an SMSF provider. Lessons learnt from this cohort include opportunities for streamlining which will assist subsequent cohorts. Given cohort 2 are ready to start, communication with this group is expected to start by 2 July.
The SMSF member verification service (MVS) will be available on the Business Portal until late September.
ATO will follow-up messaging provided to date about accessing the MVS through Online services for business and clarify instructions about the transition to Online services for business.
Post meeting note – Feedback has been provided to the Online services for business project team who are looking to reissue further communication confirming that the process remains as is, until the portal is decommissioned. At that time a link will be displayed in Online services for business to enable industry to access the MVS.
Reuniting more super (ERF and trustee discretion payments)
Belinda Black provided an update on the Reuniting More Super (eligible rollover funds (ERF) and trustee voluntary payments) initiative.
The May Trustee Voluntary Payment (TVP) reporting window went well, with a few issues managed directly with funds. If there is sufficient demand, another TVP window will be opened in August – interested funds should contact the SuperStreamStandards mailbox to discuss timing and anticipated volumes.
The ATO has been engaging with ERFs:
- Five ERFs have completed transferring member accounts and have begun to wind-up.
- Remaining two ERFs are expected to meet the 31 January deadline for transferring any remaining accounts of $6,000 and over.
Alastair Ramsay provided an update on SuperMatch.
A reminder to funds of the 30 June deadline to ensure they have an approved application for a full solution to access SuperMatch. Funds who have been reconnected under an interim approach who have not had an approved application for a full solution will have their access removed after 30 June.
To date, 52 applications to re-connect SuperMatch have been approved following the service being turned off in May 2020. A number of applications are currently being reviewed.
Any funds who have not been in contact with the ATO should contact SPREnablingServices@ato.gov.au or Alastair Ramsey directly.
Fund experience with New Payments Platform (NPP)
Larissa Evans noted that prior to the meeting, members were asked to consider their organisation’s experience with NPP. When NPP became operational in 2018, there were concerns about NPP’s potential impact on established SuperStream systems and Guidance Note 51(PDF 200KB)This link will download a file was issued. Since then, NPP Australia has developed further guidance for financial intuitions and convened a superannuation working group which has met a number of times over the last year or so.
Members discussed administrators’ experience with NPP, in particular whether the SuperStream data and payment standard should be changed to include NPP as an approved payment channel.
Implementing NPP would involve significant disruptive changes to funds’ registry, banking and accounting systems. There was consensus that at this point, there are no significant benefits to justify an investment of that size – it would not pass the members’ best interest test.
While NPP isn’t fit for purpose now, potential triggers to reconsider this position would be the decommissioning of the Bulk Electronic Clearing System, or legislative change. For NPP to be adopted, all entities including employers would need to agree on a date to transition.
Operational Insights Report
Kellie Johnson provided an update on the Operational Insights Report (OIR).
ATO internal stakeholders have been testing the process to produce the first iteration of the OIR, documenting methodology and refining its ‘look and feel’ to ensure the matrix of measures are insightful and fit for purpose. A walk-through with external stakeholders has been rescheduled to 30 June.
The next phase is on track to produce the second iteration (using April – June 2021 data) for co-design group members in approximately late July, early August. Members will also receive the OIR User Guide, so feedback can be provided about the design and useability of both artefacts.
The Superannuation Administration Group (SAG) will be kept informed about progress.
Fund engagement updates
Alastair Ramsay provided an update on the realignment of the ATO Fund Services teams.
From 1 July 2021, the new structure will mean a shift from a product focus to holistically looking at the operating system. It aims to create efficiencies, remove product silos and reduce the risk of knowledge sitting with only one team.
The changes are:
- New Risk and Strategy team led by Alastair which will identify and manage risks across the operating system and have links to design teams.
- New Advice and Support team led by Shane Moore which will include the Client Relationship Managers as well as technical expertise and support functions.
- New Engagement and Assurance team led by Tracy Holloway who will undertake engagement and assurance activities, including campaigns and reviews.
- Remaining three teams will be unchanged, apart from the Your Future, Your Super team which will be led by Katie Constance, while Tracie Crowden is appointed Acting Assistant Commissioner for a period while Larissa Evans is on leave for 12 months, from 2 June 2021.
In the interim, funds can use existing mailbox channels for enquiries, or contact directors. Super Client Relationship Team (CRT) will continue to triage enquiries that require escalation to the Digital Partnership Office (DPO) or Enterprise Solution and Technology (EST).
Bill Korras and John Binu provided an update on the Super Enquiry Service project.
Following the successful private beta the ATO is encouraging funds who have not already onboarded, to transition to the Service (which will be the preferred channel for enquiries).
Funds can onboard by following the steps in the User Guide. The Super Enquiry Service are happy to support funds to make the transition. If funds encounter an issue, take a screenshot and CRT will investigate.
The ATO will work towards improving the efficiency of the service, including adding knowledge base articles to help funds self-service.
Members noted that timing out was still an issue, particularly where a ticket hasn’t been created. The ATO is continuing to follow-up this issue internally.
Super Enquiry Service
Action item details
ATO will confirm the length of time users have before the Service times out, and what activity can avert a time out.
Other business and close
Kellie Johnson noted that given the SAG has been operational for two years, in accordance with the Terms of Reference, the membership will be refreshed.
- Existing SAG members need to reapply through the Expression of interest process if they wish to be considered in the refresh.
- We expect that the refreshed membership will be in place for the next meeting.
Larissa thanked members for their attendance and contributions.
Sue Pearce gave thanks to Larissa Evans for her leadership of the Group, and on behalf of the Group wished her the best for the next 12 months. Tracie Crowden was welcomed into her new role as Co-Chair.
Summary of the key topics discussed at the Superannuation Administration Group meeting 23 June 2021.