SIAG Minutes December 2014

Meeting details


SMC Conference & Function Centre, 66 Goulburn Street Sydney




Monday 15 December 2014




09:30 am


2:00 pm


Alison Lendon, Deputy Commissioner, Superannuation



Contact and Secretariat:  

Alex Powell

Contact phone:  

02 621 61627


Alison Lendon (Chair)


Chris Jordan


Philip Hind


John Shepherd


Karen Foat


Alex Powell (Secretariat)


Paul Tilley


David Crawford


Jerome Davidson


Greg Brunner

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

Alex Purvis

Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)

Diane Tate

Australian Bankers' Association

Dick Grozier

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

David Haynes

Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST)

Pauline Vamos

Association of Super Funds Australia (ASFA)

Michael Davison

CPA Australia

Dante De Gori

Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA)

Liz Westover

Chartered Accountants Australia (CA)

David Whiteley

Industry Super Australia (ISA)

Suzanne MacKenzie

Law Council of Australia

David Knox


Andrea Slattery

SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA)

Emma Dobson (Guest)


John Finnin (Guest)


David Kerr (Guest)


Apologies: Tom Garcia, Andrew Bragg, Alex Malley, Helen Rowell, Gerard Fitzpatrick, Melinda Howes, Mark Rantall.

Key messages

The Superannuation Industry Advisory Group (SIAG) met in Sydney on 15 December 2014 with Commissioner Chris Jordan in attendance and guest speakers from industry to speak about their SuperStream experience to date.

Minutes of the 30 July 2014 meeting were accepted.

Agenda Topics discussed included:

  • Commissioner of Taxation – Year in Review and future directions
  • SuperStream –  three guest speakers, and SIAG member Pauline Vamos presented their views on the SuperStream experience so far from the perspective of their industry segment
  • Government Reviews - Treasury provided an update on the Government reviews
  • Report back from committees - SIRN - update from previous meetings and involuntary superannuation account transfers (ISAT) protocol
  • SIAG year in review and forward agenda planning- This item will be carried forward due to time constraints. Members are invited to put forward suggestions to the SIAG secretariat out of session.

Commissioner of Taxation

Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan provided his thoughts on the ATO year in review and noted changes and achievements of the ATO in 2014.

Key focus /achievements for the ATO over 2014 included:

  • A move in the ATO to design forms, processes and correspondence for the majority of clients (rather than the minority who do the wrong thing) and reduce red tape
  • Encouragement of willing participation through building confidence in the integrity of the system and systems that make it easy to comply
  • New apps/web products – including SMSF Assist
  • Greater use of alternative dispute resolution
  • Up-front and early engagement with clients
  • Integration of SuperSeeker into myGov - resulting in a significant increase in account consolidations
  • SuperStream (the new data and payment standard, affecting over 850,000 employers, 3,000 APRA funds, and 250,000 self-managed superannuation funds) went live with first contributions for medium to large employers under the new standard successfully processed in early August 2014
  • Employer and fund services including SuperTick and EmployerTick
  • Contributed $317.8 Million reduction to Government’s red tape reduction efforts
  • Review of the ATO website (currently underway)
  • New consultation arrangements, including SIAG and NTLG to allow open dialogue in a safe environment.


Three guest speakers, Emma Dobson, Westpac; David Kerr, Australian Administration Services (AAS); John Finnin, MYOB and SIAG member Pauline Vamos, ASFA presented their views on the SuperStream experience so far from the perspective of their industry segment.

Key issues and challenges for SuperStream raised include:

  • SuperStream implementation is a long process but the journey is justified by the potential benefits
  • The industry can work together, but needs to be open on issues and resolutions for it to work
  • Straight through processing rates are lower than expected due to data issues – there is a greater than expected number of members where core data (address, DOB, TFN etc) is not provided
  • Despite being certified there are a significantly lower number of employer service providers sending SuperStream transactions which is impacting productivity savings
  • Even with limited transaction volumes and reduced data, it is clear it will be a more efficient solution versus existing paper based channels

There are many challenges faced by participants with over one million entities impacted. Key challenges include:

  • Measuring the success and cost reductions, long term governance and fully integrated systems
  • Onboarding of large and then small employers – significant investment and innovative approaches will be needed with 40% of the small/medium market not using software
  • Bank account verification is an issue with the system relying on employees to provide correct data
  • More competition is needed for gateways and governance is critical and will be a challenge
  • Significant delays in SMSF Rollovers – APRA funds have gone to full manual system causing delays.

Philip Hind, ATO, (National Program Manager, Data Standards and E-Commerce) spoke to the tabled SuperStream Implementation presentation outlining key achievements and the upcoming program of work.

Philip also discussed the Contribution Implementation Strategy outlining its focus on progressive waves, while fostering bridging solutions and providing timely support.

The key challenges outlined by Philip for the next two years until a stable and sustainable implementation has been achieved included:

  • ramping up the remaining APRA funds and key solution providers that form the core of the change
  • bedding down the new processes between employers and funds
  • reaching out to small business with ‘low capability’ to make the change
  • establishing the long-term governance arrangements for gateway stewardship
  • connecting with and responding to new change initiatives that build on the capability of SuperStream (e.g. single touch payroll, new payments solutions).

The ATO will organise a teleconference with a subset of the SIAG to confirm the key issues and agree on a way forward.

Government Reviews

Paul Tilley, Treasury provided an update on the Government reviews currently underway.

Submissions on the Financial Services Review (FSI) and the Tax White Paper will be due by the end of March 2015. The Tax White Paper will deal with tax issues raised in the FSI, and the FSI will deal with regulatory issues.

Treasury will use the SIAG to support the consultation process for the two reviews.

Treasury noted that the new Secretary to the Treasury is due to start on 15 January 2015.

Committee updates

Superannuation Industry Relationship Network (SIRN)

Karen Foat, ATO noted an update of SIRN activity over recent months including the reducing red tape and regulation work from the February 18 SIRN which was provided to members in a paper. Karen also noted consultation undertaken with the SIRN on 16 September and 20 October regarding how the ATO may be able to improve the future client experience for APRA funds, SMSFs and associated intermediaries. Feedback is currently being analysed and findings and future directions will be shared at the SIRN and SIAG in the new year.

John Shepherd, ATO spoke briefly the Involuntary Superannuation Account Transfer (ISAT) protocol which was provided to members in a paper.

Other business

Alison Lendon noted the proposed dates for SIAG meetings in 2015 and asked members to advise the secretariat if there are any issues with these dates.

Proposed dates are:

  • Tuesday 17 March (Melbourne)
  • Wednesday 12 August (Sydney)
  • Wednesday 30 November (Sydney)

Action items

Action item  

15122014-1 – The committee raised concerns around the authentication process for agents acting on behalf of clients such as legal representatives and tax agents. The ATO will look at the process to see if improvements can be made to the process and timeframe associated with authorisations to act for clients.

Action item  

15122014-2 – Dianne Tate ABA will send through an example of their authentication form.

Action item  

15122014-3 – Some concerns were raised about Superannuation Guarantee (SG) compliance and funds reluctance to go to the ATO with suspected compliance issues. The ATO will work with key industry representatives on ways to improve SG compliance.

Action item  

15122014-4 – Following the SuperStream conversation the ATO agreed to organise a teleconference with a subset of the SIAG to confirm the key issues and agree on a way forward.

    Last modified: 04 Apr 2016QC 48645