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  • CRT Alert 074/2017

    1 December 2017

    Changes to the MATS technical design

    After careful consideration and consultation with industry representatives, we are updating the MATS design to change the structure from multiple transactions to a single transaction type per message.

    This change will be reflected in the validation rules due to be published on the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) website in March 2018. We'll issue a draft version in January 2018.

    Reason for the change

    Allowing only a single transaction type per MATS message is a much simpler and more streamlined solution.

    The ATO system build for multiple transaction types per message is highly complex. We expect funds would experience similar issues and complexities with multiple transaction types in a MATS message.

    We contacted an indicative sample of funds to assess whether they were building for single or multiple transaction types. We found all were building or planning to build the single solution.

    We also explored scenarios where we might reasonably expect you to report multiple transaction types within one message. We determined that these scenarios would be uncommon and a single transaction design would better suit the majority of funds. We have included these scenarios below.

    CRT Alert 065/2017 outlined a rigorous change process that applies to any changes to the MATS design. In line with this, we engaged the Transaction Service Working Group (TSWG) to assess the need for the change, the benefits gained and anticipated impacts.

    The TSWG approved the change to structure MATS messages to a single transaction or contribution type.

    Details of the change

    Previously the design allowed a single MATS message to contain any combination of up to five transactions or contribution types. You will now only report one transaction or contribution type in a single MATS message.

    The five types of transactions or contributions that can be reported in a MATS message are:

    • member contributions balance amounts
    • employer contributions
    • non-employer contributions
    • retirement phase event
    • notice of intent.

    These transaction types are detailed in the MATS technical documentation.

    The changes to the MATS design will be reflected in the validation rules that are due to be published to the SBR website on 15 March 2018.

    See also:

    • Access the validation rules after 15 March 2018 that will be part of the MATS technical documentationExternal Link on the SBR website under the Super Member (SPRMBR) heading.
    • CRT Alert 65/2017 – MATS technical documentation locked down 

    More information

    Complexity with multiple transaction types

    We expect funds to encounter similar issues and complexities that we have experienced with multiple transaction types in a MATS message.

    Allowing multiple transaction types would increase the effort required for designing and building the solution. It would also increase the risk of unintended circumstances and the need for manual workarounds. This might include situations in which we would need to:

    • build, test and manage numerous testing scenarios for various combinations of transaction types
    • create multiple reports from one MATS message if multiple events were reported
    • create multiple cancellation reports from one MATS message if a cancellation was received for multiple events
    • ensure that validation rules for one transaction type are not applied to others.

    Designing only for single transaction types also provides a more streamlined process for cancellations. Cancelling a message containing multiple transaction types would cancel all transaction types reported within that message even if you only needed to cancel one. You may have then needed to re-report some amounts.

    Scenarios for multiple transaction types

    We explored scenarios where we might reasonably expect funds to report multiple transaction or contribution types within a single MATS message. These scenarios are detailed below.

    Our findings were that these scenarios would be uncommon and a single-transaction design would better suit the majority of funds. While reporting a single transaction type per message will mean more messages overall, the volume increase would not be significant given these scenarios would be uncommon.

    Some scenarios for reporting multiple contributions have always been explicitly required to be reported separately in MATS. For example:

    • employer SG and salary sacrifice contributions
    • personal contributions and proceeds from primary residence disposal.

    Two scenarios where multiple transaction or contribution types might have been reported are where:

    • members ask their employer to make after-tax (personal) contributions on their behalf and these could be sent to the fund together with employer contributions
    • members make a personal contribution and lodge a notice of intent at the same time.

    Other scenarios we have considered in regard to single versus multiple transaction types are below.

    • Member contributions balance amounts – these annually reported amounts are typically reported after the end of the year and are therefore unlikely to be combined with other transaction types.
    • Retirement phase events – there might be instances where a member makes a structured settlement contribution and then performs a member commutation, but this would be two separate events.
    • Notice of intent – while individuals may lodge a notice of intent at the time of making a personal contribution, our findings are that people typically lodge the NOI after 30 June as they start preparing for their income tax return.
    • Employer contributions – as employer contributions must be made by the employer they are highly unlikely to accompany another contribution type.
    • Non-employer transactions – it is likely some personal contributions will be made via an employer and therefore will accompany employer contributions (generally employer SG, but could also accompany salary sacrifice).
    • Other non-employer transactions (for example spouse/child, other third party, capital gains exemptions, personal injury, and the like) by their nature are unlikely to be made together with other contributions types.

    The Annual Balance message includes the fields below, allowing all relevant fields to be sent in a single message:

    • the accumulation phase value or retirement phase value
    • the defined benefit amounts (the notional taxed contribution and/or the defined benefit contribution amounts).
      Last modified: 04 Dec 2017QC 54005