• Preparing for SuperStream: a step-by-step guide

    SuperStream is a standard for processing superannuation data and payments electronically.

    Under SuperStream, you need to pay super contributions for your employees electronically (EFT or BPAY) and send the associated data electronically.

    The data is in a standard format so it can be transmitted consistently across the super system – between employers, funds, service providers and the ATO. It's linked to the payment by a unique payment reference number.

    This means you can make all your contributions in a single transaction, even if they're going to multiple super funds.

    This short video shows you what SuperStream is and how to pay super the SuperStream way.

     

    Duration 1:46. A transcript of SuperStream makes super simple for employers is also available.

    Here's what you need to do to be SuperStream ready:

    Step 1: Choose an option

    You can use the SuperStream decision tool (PDF, 169KB) to choose the right solution.

    To use SuperStream, you need to pay super and send employee information electronically. If you're already doing this, you may only need to refine your system to send the contribution data in the standard format. You can use:

    You can also ask your accountant or bookkeeper to help you with one of these options.

    If the only contributions you make are personal contributions for yourself or contributions to a related self-managed super fund (SMSF), you don't need to use SuperStream because these are exempt contributions.

    See also:

    Payroll system

    If you use a payroll system, check with your system provider that it is SuperStream ready. You may need to update your system.

    Some payroll systems cover data and payments, and some are data only, which means you may need to make payments to each fund separately. Either way the payment must be electronic (EFT or BPAY).

    See also:

    Your super fund's online system

    Large super funds have online payment services you can use. Check with your fund.

    Super clearing house

    A clearing house pays super to your employees' funds for you. You send a single electronic payment to the clearing house, together with the contribution data for all your employees, and the clearing house does the rest.

    If you have 19 or fewer employees, or a turnover of less than $2 million a year, you can use our free Small Business Super Clearing House (SBSCH).

    This is a free online service in English that allows small employers to pay super contributions to a single destination in one simple electronic transaction. SBSCH will provide a SuperStream-compliant solution for employers no matter when you sign up.

    You can also choose from several commercial options, or your super fund may have a clearing house you can use. Talk to your fund to see what they offer.

    Remember, even if you outsource some parts of making super contributions, you're still responsible for ensuring your employees' super is paid correctly.

    Messaging Portal

    A messaging portal can convert contribution data for your employees to a SuperStream compliant format and send it to the relevant funds for you. You still need to make one electronic payment. Talk to your messaging portal provider and financial institution.

    Step 2: Collect information and update your records

    To use SuperStream you'll need to collect some new information from your employees, in addition to the information you already use to pay super.

    Once you have this information, enter it into your system, along with the other details you use to pay super, and you're ready to use SuperStream.

    You only need to collect this information for current employees. New employees who choose their super fund will fill out a standard choice form, which will have all the information you need.

    Ask your employees for the following information, if you don't have it already:

    If your employees have a self-managed super fund (SMSF), they need to give you slightly different information:

    If you're an employer contributing to your own SMSF, you don't need to collect this information for these contributions.

    Where to find the information

    Employees can find their fund's ABN and USI on their latest super statement or by calling their fund.

    You can also find a fund's ABN and USI using the Super Fund LookupExternal Link in English. However, a fund may have more than one USI so you'll need to confirm the correct USI with your employee.

    If you currently make employer contributions to funds using a superannuation product identification number (SPIN) you will need to obtain the USI this SPIN corresponds to – you can find this using the Fund SPIN and USI Lookup TableExternal Link in English.

    See also:

    Step 3: Use SuperStream

    Start using SuperStream as soon as possible.

    It may take time to collect the information and get used to the new system. If any information is incomplete or incorrect, the super payment is likely to be rejected.

    It's still up to you to meet your super guarantee obligations by the due dates.

    If you're using a clearing house, check how long they will take to send the money and information to the super fund. Generally an employee's super contribution is counted as being paid on the date the fund receives it, not the date a clearing house receives it from you.

    Employer SuperStream FAQs

    What contributions are exempt?

    You don't need to use SuperStream for:

    • contributions to your own self-managed super fund (SMSF) (ie if you're a related-party employer – for example, if you're an employee of your family business and your super guarantee contributions go to your SMSF)
    • personal contributions – for example, if you're a sole trader and you contribute to a super fund for yourself.

    For these types of contributions you can continue using your previous processes.

    What is a USI?

    A unique superannuation identifier – or USI – identifies the specific super product for an employee contribution. It ensures contributions get to the right destination. All super funds must have at least one USI.

    Most super funds have one USI for all of their products. It's publicly available information – the USI and other identifying information for the fund (like the ABN) are generally available on funds’ websites. Some funds have more than one USI, so it's important that your employee tells you which product they're in.

    Employers can use Super Fund LookupExternal Link in English to find USIs and other information about super funds.

    How can I get an electronic service address?

    To receive SuperStream data your SMSF needs an electronic service address.

    An electronic service address is an alias used by your SMSF that represents the uniform resource locator (URL) or internet protocol (IP) address of a messaging provider. An e-mail address is not an active electronic service address.

    You can get an electronic service address from an SMSF messaging provider or through your SMSF administrator, tax agent, accountant or bank. Many of these options are no cost or low cost.

    If your SMSF doesn't use a professional service provider you'll need to register directly with an SMSF messaging provider.

    What if I don’t get the information I need from employees with an SMSF?

    If an employee with an SMSF hasn't provided you with the information you need to make contributions using SuperStream, you may be able to redirect your employees’ contributions to your default fund, subject to some conditions.

    You must tell the employee what information you need and give them a reasonable period to respond. If you don't receive it, ask the employee to complete a standard choice form and return it within 28 days. This form will gather the information you need to make SuperStream contributions to their SMSF.

    If you still don't receive the information, you may send their contributions to your default fund.

    You can still give an employee more time to respond.

      Last modified: 03 Dec 2016QC 44438