ATO advice to employers: use SuperStream to cut admin by 70%

As 2015 draws to a close, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is encouraging employers to cross SuperStream off their ‘to-do’ list ahead of the 30 June 2016 deadline and cut time spent on super administration.

Philip Hind, ATO’s National Program Manager, Data Standards & E-Commerce (SuperStream), says now is a good time for businesses who haven’t yet adopted SuperStream to get on board and experience the benefits first-hand.

“Over a quarter of a million small businesses have adopted SuperStream. While it may take a little time to set up, we’re hearing that SuperStream is reducing the time employers spend on super by around 70% - or 1.5 hours - each cycle, on average. And you may save money too, with small businesses who have implemented SuperStream so far collectively saving up to $50 million per year.

“With only two quarters left until SuperStream becomes mandatory, now is a good time for employers to adopt SuperStream and familiarise themselves with it before the deadline.

“For some businesses, December and January are quieter periods, so now is a great opportunity to check that your SuperStream option is ready, whether that be your payroll software, your super fund’s online payment system, or a clearing house, like the ATO’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House. You can also ask your accountant or bookkeeper for help.

According to Mr Hind, now is the ideal time for employers to make sure they have all the information they need to use SuperStream correctly.

“Importantly, you should collect the necessary employee identification data – being your employees’ TFNs and their funds’ unique super identifiers (USIs) - and enter it into your system ahead of the next quarterly due date on 28 January. That way, you have time to check that things are running smoothly before the deadline.

“Your employees can find their fund’s USI on their super statement or by calling their fund. You can also find these details using the Super Fund Lookup website – our online SuperStream checklist has the link.”

Mr Hind says SuperStream has tangible benefits for employees as well as employers.

“As a result of SuperStream, funds are holding more accurate and complete information about their members’ superannuation, enabling better tracking of superannuation by individuals. In the longer term, this will translate to less lost super and better assurance for retirement incomes.

“This is obviously great news for employees, but it’s good news for employers, too.

“By using SuperStream, employers can assure their employees that their super has been managed well – what a great message to give your employees at Christmas time.”

Employers who aren’t sure how to prepare for SuperStream should visit the ATO’s online employer checklist for guidance. They can also ask their accountant, bookkeeper, payroll provider, clearing house or super fund for help.

SuperStream started for small businesses with 19 or fewer employees on 1 July this year and they have until 30 June 2016 to be fully compliant.

The ATO step-by-step checklist to help employers prepare can be found at Employers can also watch the ATO’s short animated videoExternal Link.

Last modified: 24 Nov 2015QC 47394