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  • Superannuation Communique January 2017

    12 January 2017

    Superannuation changes have received royal assent

    The Australian Government announced changes to the superannuation system in the 2016–17 Budget which received royal assent in November 2016. As a result, some of your reporting obligations will change.

    An overview of the changes is available and we will publish more detailed information in the weeks ahead. The overview includes summary impacts for what APRA-regulated funds need to do before 1 July 2017 and your new obligations after 1 July 2017.

    You may start receiving queries from members affected by the introduction of a transfer balance cap on pension-phase accounts. As affected individuals need to take action before 30 June 2017, we have published draft Law Companion Guidelines to help you understand this and other super changes.

    We have recently published three more draft guidelines to help you prepare for 1 July 2017. We are seeking your comments on these draft guidelines. More information is available in our Have your say: new Draft Superannuation Reform Law Companion Guideline article.

    Keeping your members informed

    We have been progressively updating our website to provide information about the changes to support you and your members.

    You will no doubt be developing communication material and website content for your members about these changes. We encourage you to reference and link to the information on our website at ato.gov.au/super changes so your members can check to see if they are affected and what they may be able to do to maximise their savings for retirement.

    You can keep up to date by:

    Updates to lost and unclaimed superannuation

    In the 2015–16 federal Budget the government announced a package of measures to reduce red tape for superannuation funds and individuals by:

    • removing redundant reporting obligations
    • streamlining lost and unclaimed superannuation administrative arrangements.

    Since then, we have worked with Treasury and superannuation industry stakeholders to implement these changes.

    Increase in the small lost member account threshold

    From 31 December 2016, funds must transfer the balance of a lost member’s account to the ATO if the account balance is less than $6,000. Prior to 31 December 2016, funds were required to transfer balances less than $4,000 to the ATO.

    Changes to superannuation for working holiday makers

    As part of the Working Holiday Maker Reform Package, legislation was passed to increase the tax rate applied to the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP). The tax on any DASP made to working holiday makers on or after 1 July 2017 is 65%. This new rate applies to visa subclasses 417 (Working Holiday) and 462 (Work and Holiday).

    No deferral for reporting lost members

    We recently consulted with you about deferring the lodgment of lost member statements (LMS) in 2017. Your preference is to continue reporting lost members. This means LMS lodgments remain mandatory for all funds.

    Your next lodgment for the period 1 July to 31 December 2016 is due on or before 30 April 2017.

    If you require a deferral or extension of time to meet your lodgment obligation, please follow the current procedure.

    Revisions to our protocol and specification documents

    The lost members register and unclaimed superannuation money protocols have been updated to include recent law changes and relevant scenarios.

    The unclaimed superannuation money (USM) statement specificationExternal Link is also now available. It has been updated to include a change that makes reporting of the beginning and end service period dates mandatory.

    More information

    We will keep you informed of any further changes to your reporting obligations. In the meantime, read more about the measures for cutting red tape for lost and unclaimed superannuation.

    You can keep up to date by:

    • regularly checking the what’s new page
    • subscribing to our alert service to receive an email or RSS feed alert. When you subscribe, select Super in the subscription choices
    • register as a participants in the Superannuation Community on Let’s TalkExternal Link to have your say in online engagement activities.

    Have your say: new Draft Superannuation Reform Law companion guideline

    To give you certainty about what you need to do to prepare for changes to the super system beginning on 1 July, we have developed draft Law Companion Guidelines (LCG) for public consultation.

    The latest guideline 2016/D12 Superannuation reform: total superannuation balance is the fifth in the series, and we value your feedback on how you see the guideline working in practice. This draft guideline helps you calculate a member’s total superannuation balance from 30 June 2017.

    Comments close on Monday 6 February. Submit your feedback for LCG 2016/D12External Link through the feedback form on Let’s Talk.

    We also seek your feedback on two other guidelines:

    • LCG 2016/D11External Link Superannuation reform: concessional contributions – Defined benefit interests and constitutionally protected funds
    • LCG 2016/D10External Link Superannuation reform: defined benefit income streams – non-commutable, lifetime pensions and lifetime annuities.

    The consultation period for these guidelines closes on 23 January. You can also submit your feedback via Let’s Talk.

    We began co-designing the guidelines relating to the 2016 Budget changes in November last year when we released:

    • LCG 2016/D9 Superannuation reform: transitional CGT relief
    • LCG 2016/D8 Superannuation reform: transfer balance cap.

    The consultation period for these draft guidelines has now closed.

    We will consider the need for more guidelines to help you with other super changes and will notify you when they are available for comment.

    More information

    Let’s Talk Superannuation community

    The Superannuation community on Let’s TalkExternal Link is a space for you and others working in the super industry to contribute your ideas and have your say on super-related topics. You can have your say by submitting feedback relevant to each of the projects currently open for consultation. To participate, simply registerExternal Link and start sharing your ideas and comments. We look forward to hearing your views on Let’s Talk.External Link

    More information

    If you have questions about information on Let’s Talk or the ATO’s consultation and engagement process, please email SuperConsultation@ato.gov.au or read our Let’s Talk frequently asked questionsExternal Link

    The latest on the ATO system outages

    The ATO experienced a significant system outage on Monday 12 December 2016, and has been working to restore services since that time. This was an extremely unusual and unfortunate event with the outage caused by an unprecedented failure of storage hardware.

    The systems outage affected a large number of services including but not limited to:

    • SuperTICK
    • EmployerTICK
    • Fund validation service (FVS)
    • Electronic portability form (EPF)
    • SuperMatch
    • Departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP)
    • Business Portal

    Our technical teams undertook a significant amount of work over the Christmas break to restore our services.

    The performance of our core services such as the ATO website and portals continue to improve and we are bringing other functions and tools back online every day. However, some tools, calculators and online services such as the portals are still experiencing intermittent disruptions. The complexity of the restoration means we have more work to do to return our services to normal. Services may be interrupted as this work continues.

    We have worked closely with industry to mitigate disruption as services resume, including dealing with system backlogs. We also continue to keep APRA informed of developments and the impacts on funds.

    Independent review

    As we return to normal operations, the ATO will be fully investigating the events of the business system outages. There will be a comprehensive and independent review to help us answer exactly what happened, how and why, and what measures need to be taken to avoid such a situation in the future. Read more about the independent review and previous media statements in the ATO Media Centre.

    Reporting incidents

    From Monday 9 January we returned to business-as-usual arrangements for reporting incidents:

    • For incidents relating to SBR1 and SBR2 services (SuperTICK, SuperMatch, EmployerTICK, EPF and FVS), contact the SBR Service Desk.
    • For super product and payment enquiries (including USM, LMR, DASP, etc.), contact Super CRT.

    Keep up to date

    For general information about the ATO system outage, read the latest media releases on the ATO Media Centre and follow ATO on TwitterExternal Link, FacebookExternal Link and LinkedIn.External Link

    For information specifically about superannuation enabling services:

    We recognise this outage has had a significant impact on your operations, and we appreciate your patience while we work to restore services to normal as soon as possible. We apologise for this inconvenience.

    Lost members report provision of addresses program

    Our next Lost Members Report (LMR) provision of addresses (POA) program will begin in February 2017 and we encourage you to participate.

    Under the POA program, we supply data extracts to participating superannuation providers (funds or their administrators). These extracts contain updated address and contact details for reported lost members, including email addresses, mobile phone numbers and date of death information. Super providers can use this information to reunite members with their superannuation and update member records.

    We make the extracts available for download from the ATO’s bulk data exchange (BDE) facility by nominated staff members who we register as authorised users. Conditions of use apply to the data extracts.

    What you need to do

    1. Send us an email to nominate your authorised users

    To participate in the program, you must have an authorised user of our bulk data exchange (BDE) facility. You can have no more than two authorised users at any one time. They must be members of your staff that are nominated by you and approved by us.

    • To nominate a staff member, email us with the name and email address of your chosen staff member.
    • To change your authorised user, email us and nominate an alternate staff member.

    We will advise you within three business days if your nominated staff member is NOT approved by the ATO.

    2. We will set up a BDE mailbox for you

    When an authorised user is nominated by you and approved by us, we will:

    • set up a mailbox for your organisation within the ATO’s BDE facility (if we haven’t already done so)
    • send your authorised user an email (to their email address you identified) advising them of the internet address of the ATO’s BDE facility and their User ID and password to access your organisation’s BDE mailbox.

    You must ensure that only your authorised user has access to the BDE facility and your BDE mailbox. No other person is allowed access without our prior written consent.

    3. We will advise your authorised user when a data extract is available

    When we produce a data extract for you we will:

    • upload it to your BDE facility mailbox
    • send your authorised user an email to let them know the data extract has been uploaded to your BDE mailbox.

    Your authorised user can then access your BDE mailbox and download the data extract.

    For more information

    We will keep you informed as we begin the POA program. In the meantime, you can read more about the lost member register.

    If you have questions about the bulk data exchange facility, call 13 28 69 and ask for extension 64004 or email ATOBulkDataTransfer@ato.gov.au

    For all other questions, email OPSSUPERCRT-RUNDLE@ato.gov.au

    SuperSeeker to be decommissioned

    Update: The SuperSeeker online service has been decommissioned. The online service has been unavailable since the ATO online services outage began in December 2016 and we have decided not to revive this system.

    The SuperSeeker service will be decommissioned April 2017. SuperSeeker is one way individuals can find and consolidate lost super using an online portal or interactive voice recognition (IVR) service.

    We encourage individuals to find and manage their super using the even more secure ATO online services through myGovExternal Link. We will provide details on plans for the IVR service closer to April.

    Super funds can find and consolidate lost super on behalf of members using SuperMatch2.

    Monthly superannuation remittance and recovery processing schedule

    The ATO superannuation processing schedule for January 2017 is outlined below.

    January 2017

    Date

    Co-contributions remittance advice

    Monday 9 January

    First Home Saver Account (FHSA) remittance advice

    Monday 9 January

    Unclaimed superannuation money (USM) recovery

    Monday 16 January

    Super guarantee recovery notice (ICP)

    Monday 16 January

    Super guarantee remittance advice (ICP)

    Monday 16 January

    Superannuation Holding Account special account (SHAsa) remittance advice

    Monday 23 January

    Unclaimed superannuation money (USM) remittance

    Monday 23 January

    Low income super contribution (LISC) remittance advice

    Monday 23 January

    Co-contributions recovery

    Monday 30 January

    Low income super contribution (LISC) recovery

    Monday 6 February

      Last modified: 27 Mar 2017QC 50881