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  • Superannuation Communique June 2017

    8 June 2017

    On this page:

    Release of the ATO systems report

    Today the ATO has released a report into the systems outages we experienced in December last year and February this year. This report is a culmination of feedback from clients and stakeholders, technical analysis from HPE and independent expertise from PwC. It explains what happened to our IT systems, the impacts on our stakeholders, the ATO responses and what we're doing to improve our services.

    In summary the report has found that:

    • the outage was caused by multiple component failures on the ATO’s primary Storage Area Network (SAN), which was supplied and operated by HPE
    • the impact of the outage was compounded by the design and configuration the SAN – the review found that there was an over emphasis on performance features rather than stability or resilience
    • our business continuity mechanisms, communications and engagement worked well, but into the future need to be more inclusive of our partners.

    The report identifies areas for improvement, classified into five themes:

    • principles informing our IT design
    • correcting the identified faults
    • enhancing our capability to support infrastructure design and IT governance
    • incident responses for the ATO and the wider tax system
    • managing the impacts on stakeholders.

    We are committed to addressing each of these areas and have already made improvements or have work underway.

    We are mindful of the disruption the outages caused the community and the superannuation industry. We have already delivered some improvements to the performance of our services on the SBR2 platform, including SuperTICK3 and SuperMatch2, and we're considering what further measures we can put in place to minimise the risk of the ATO and the super industry being exposed to this type of incident in the future.

    We acknowledge we have more work to do, and we appreciate your valued partnership and support as we continue to work through these challenges to improve our services and meet your needs and expectations.

    Next steps:

    Super services maintenance

    Our technical teams are taking the last steps required to harden our systems for tax time. This requires maintenance work to be done during business hours so we can test our systems while they're in use.

    Superannuation services will be available but service performance may be degraded during the following periods:

    • Wednesday 14 June 6am to 12pm AEST
    • Thursday 15 June 6am to 12pm AEST
    • Friday 16 June 6am to 12pm AEST.

    We'll be closely monitoring services and will immediate roll back the change if we detect performance issues.

    Next steps:

    Withholding changes for income stream providers

    As part of the super changes that apply from 1 July 2017 there are new withholding obligations for superannuation income stream providers.

    If an individual receives a capped defined benefit income stream in excess of the cap, the way it's taxed will change.

    The defined benefit income cap also affects the defined benefit income that is included in an individual’s assessable income.  It also limits the tax offset available in the untaxed element of certain benefits that are defined benefit income.

    The cap is relevant where an individual is:

    • 60 years of age or over, or
    • under 60 years of age and is a death benefits dependant, where the deceased died at 60 years of age or over.

    The defined benefit income cap is the general transfer balance cap ($1.6 million) divided by 16, so for the 2017–18 income year will be set at $100,000.

    The cap itself is not indexed, but will increase in line with the general transfer balance cap as it's indexed.

    See also:

    Notify us by 30 June to elect to be non-deductible

    Superannuation funds with a defined benefit interest have until 1 July 2017 to elect to be non-deductible funds or make member contributions non-deductible for the 2017–18 income year.

    From 1 July 2017, eligibility rules for claiming a tax deduction for personal super contributions will change. Part of these rule changes allows super funds with a defined benefit interest to treat member contributions as non-deductible by making an election in the approved form.

    What you need to do

    If you have a defined benefit interest and want to elect to:

    • be a non-deductible fund or
    • treat member contributions made to the defined benefit interest within the fund as non-deductible,

    you must notify the Commissioner before the start of the income year in which the contributions are received.

    Next steps:

    Super changes webinar – register now

    Do you have any burning questions on super changes? Don’t miss our next webinar on Tuesday 13 June 2017.

    The webinar will provide an overview of the personal super contribution deductions (PSCD) and spouse tax offset (STO) changes effective 1 July 2017. We’ll also cover the introduction of the low income super tax offset (LISTO) regime and how it affects large super funds. You can submit questions before and during the session.

    Next steps:

    See also:

    Electronic payment variation advice (ePVA)

    If you receive a rollover via SuperStream and you are unable to accept an individual’s entitlement, you must send an outcome error response message in accordance with the standard – along with the return payment. This enables our system to produce an ePVA form against the members' account.

    To avoid processing delays, all mandatory fields in the response message must be completed.

    The most common missing or incorrect fields are context ID, refund payment total and payment reference number (PRN) (only mandatory if you are using your own). 

    When you send an outcome error response there is no need to send us a separate payment variation advice via paper or an email advising you cannot accept an amount for a member. The exception to this is USM errors associated with the remittance run for the week beginning 15 May, as detailed in CRT Alert 038/2017 issued 23 May 2017.

    Realignment of default data values

    Date of birth reporting

    Where the DOB is either partially completed, incomplete or null the DOB will be recorded by us as 01/01/1900. It is important to note that where this value is present you should not rely upon the data or use it for processing.

    Gender code reporting

    To streamline our reporting our gender code categories were updated with the following categories:

    • male
    • female
    • not stated – used where a client applies for a tax file number (TFN) and fails to select the relevant gender code
    • inadequately described – used where a client record is created and you can't determine the client’s gender from the information provided
    • intersex or indeterminate – used if the person is intersex or where the individual identifies as neither male nor female. Generally, indeterminate is only to be used for babies for whom the sex has not been determined.

    See also:

    Business Portal error message

    Some administrators have told us they are receiving an error message of ‘no transactions found’ when trying to view superannuation transactions via the business portal. We are investigating the problem and will provide an update soon.

    What can you do?

    You may see this error if you have not been granted the correct permissions. Check your business permissions on the portal to ensure ‘View statement of account’ permission has been granted.

    Continuing to encounter issues?

    Email SuperCRT@ato.gov.au with the following details:

    • ABN of the fund you are viewing
    • name of person trying to access the transactions.

    DASP tax rate changes

    The removal of the Temporary Budget Repair Levy from 1 July 2017 means the tax rates for the departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) will change. The tax rates that will apply to DASP from 1 July are:

    • 0% for the tax-free component
    • 35% for a taxed element of a taxable component
    • 45% for an untaxed element of a taxable component
    • 65% for a Working Holiday Maker, applied to both the taxed and untaxed element of the taxable component.

    See also:

    USM payment allocation

    During the October 2016 and April 2017 unclaimed super money (USM) lodgment period we had a number of issues with funds using an invalid payment reference number (PRN). This caused payment allocation delays and reverse workflows for funds and for us.

    Your PRN is your unique reference that ensures your payment is credited to the correct account. A PRN can also be called an EFT code and is a unique 18-digit reference number. By using a valid PRN, payments will be automatically processed through our systems and allocated to the correct tax account.

    Next steps:

    • You can obtain the unique PRN for each superannuation product by contacting the Payment Hotline on 1800 815 886 or by emailing payment@ato.gov.au.
    • Check online via the portal to ensure your payment and lodgment has been processed to your USM reporting role.
    • If you notice a discrepancy please email CASUSMProductTeam@ato.gov.au for assistance.

    See also: how to pay

    SuperStream readiness & implementation

    Contributions v2.0 testing

    Since 24 April, fourteen funds have commenced peer-to-peer testing of contributions v2.0. Several of these are participating in our verification exercise (see below). Most can expect the test process to run for 5–10 business days.

    When ready to move into production, funds must complete a Contributions G2B readiness checklist and send it to us.

    See also:

    Verification exercise has started

    On 2 June 2017, we began our contributions v2.0 business deployment verification (BDV) exercise with five funds and three gateways.

    During the first week of BDV testing:

    • five funds confirmed they are now ready to receive contributions through data and payment standards
    • 25 data messages were successfully sent to these funds for the co-contributions remittance run.

    We are following up on two data messages that were not delivered. Otherwise, funds are confirming no further issues have been identified.

    By the end of this week, we will be able to confirm if our end-to-end implementation of the co-contributions remittance process has been successful.

    We are continuing to provide additional support and guidance at the regular Contributions Implementation Working Group meetings to help funds with their production cutover and BDV testing and update the Fund Validation Service (FVS).

    If you have updated the FVS with your GCON2.0-X certification, remember to prepare to receive messages for the upcoming superannuation guarantee remittance and recovery run on Tuesday 13 June (given Monday is a public holidays in most states).

    Next steps:

    See also:

    Unclaimed super remittance issue

    We have now returned to our normal fortnightly schedule for unclaimed super money (USM) remittance runs. You will start to receive data messages from this Friday 9 June.

    The remittance run scheduled for the week beginning 29 May was postponed because of problems reported in CRT Alert 038/2017.

    We would like to thank you for working with us to help remediate the problem.

    There are strategies in place and we have implemented system fixes to mitigate the issues we identified.

    Next steps:

    • If you experience any further problems or have any questions contact SuperCRT@ato.gov.au.

    June LISC recovery run rescheduled

    The low income super contribution (LISC) recovery process previously scheduled for 8 June was brought forward to 29 May.

    On this page:

    New SuperStream data rollover transactions

    The SuperStream rollover standard will be applied to business-to-government unclaimed super money (USM) reporting and payments as well as government-to-business section 20C notices.

    If we believe a former temporary resident has super in your fund, we will issue you with a Section 20C notice for you to report and pay the amount to us as unclaimed super. With the introduction of the new rollover transaction, these notices will be sent to you in the SuperStream standard. Your reporting and payment response will also need to be sent via the same SuperStream standard channel.

    We will be testing these new rollover transactions with industry from October 2017, in preparation for the first Section 20C notices to be issued to you in the SuperStream standard in February 2018.

    We will explain the USM amendment process and overall USM design with industry representatives in the future. There will be an updated rollover standards user guide from late August/September to include all the changes and guidance information you need to build and implement the service.

    Funds that are not SuperStream compliant will continue to report USM either by paper or electronically via the ECI channel.

    Member information eXchange (MiX) is now MAAS and MATS

    What was the Member information eXchange?

    We began working with the super industry to design the MiX service in 2015 to remove obsolete reporting, digitise transactions by building on the SuperStream changes, and identify opportunities for funds to exchange member information with us. It included using the new SuperStream rollover standard to transfer and report unclaimed superannuation money (USM) to us, including allowing us to use the new SuperStream rollover standard to send Section 20C notices to funds to initiate rollovers of USM.

    Through the existing annual Member Contribution Statement (MCS), funds report to us about contributions received for each member for that year, as well as the balance and other attributes of each member’s account. The MiX service design involved replacing the existing MCS with:

    • the MiX web service to report member account attribute changes to us as soon as they happen, and
    • the MiX MCS, an annual report for member contribution information and a 30 June balance.

    What’s changed?

    2016–17 budget changes and the need for greater visibility of employer super guarantee payments has prompted us to change from the current annual MCS reporting to more frequent event-based reporting.

    This redesign is an opportunity to align designs and builds a longer term solution capable of absorbing future policy change while leveraging off the SuperStream investment.

    This design is a conscious shift away from annual reporting to more frequent reporting of member data and will provide a range of benefits for both funds and members.

    What does the future of member reporting look like?

    APRA-regulated funds will continue to lodge an MCS in the current format for the 2016–17 and 2017–18 income years. The last lodgment of the MCS in the current format will be due by 31 October 2018.

    The member information we need from funds to meet the requirements of the super changes, including their transfer balance cap and total super balance, will be captured from September 2017 by the transfer balance account report (TBAR) until we fully implement the redesigned MCS.

    The redesign of the MCS is now made up of two new services.

    1. Member Account Attribute Service (MAAS)

    This service is for APRA-regulated funds to report changes to a member’s account when they occur. Changes include:

    • when an account is opened or closed
    • the phase of the account (accumulation or retirement)
    • what indicators are linked to the account
    • what transactions that account can receive.

    MAAS is the new name for what was referred to as the MiX web service in the previous design. While we’ve changed the name to more accurately reflect the function of the new reporting-to-government framework, the design itself has not changed. If you come across older documentation that still refers to MiX, you can simply replace the name MiX with MAAS.

    MAAS will be deployed in 2018.

    We published the draft MAAS technical documentationExternal Link in April 2017 and we have received feedback. We are now working through industry comments prior to publishing updated documentation.

    2. Member Account Transaction Service (MATS)

    The design of Member Account Transaction Service (MATS) is still in progress and some aspects may change as we consult with funds about how it should work. The concept is to allow for more frequent, event-based reporting of member data. This new reporting solution will give members better access to information about their superannuation holdings so they can make more informed decisions. It will also provide us with the information we need to support changes to the super system now and in the future.

    We’re still considering design options for more regular reporting of contributions and other member data, but we refer to the draft design as MATS. This service effectively replaces what was referred to in the previous design as the MiX MCS. This will ultimately replace the interim Transaction Balance Account Report (TBAR) for APRA-regulated funds.

    In our draft design, we expect to receive the first MATS reports between July and October 2018.

    See also:

    Section 20C notices (former temporary resident)

    We will issue Section 20C notices earlier than usual for the period 1 January to 30 June 2017. This will start on 14 June 2017. The due date for reporting and payment will remain 31 October 2017.

    Deferral and revocation requests

    You should request lodgment and payment deferrals for any component (eg small lost members or temporary residents) before any other unclaimed superannuation money (USM) statements lodged for that period.

    For example, you are unable to lodge and pay for temporary residents, and then ask for a deferral of small lost members, or the other way round.

    • If you think any individuals were incorrectly identified as former temporary residents, you should lodge a revocation request as soon as possible.

    Next steps:

    Super Fund Lookup USI effective dates

    When an employer uses Super Fund Lookup to find a unique super identifier (USI) they see the start date for when that USI is effective. When you make a change to your USI and the effective date is in the future, employers will see that USI as having a start date in the future.

    This means employers may think that your existing USI with a future-dated change is not active until that date.

    In the coming months, we will change the way USI information displays through Super Fund Lookup so that only new USI products will have future-dated ‘effective from’ dates.

    Is your AUSkey still valid?

    Many funds had registered their AUSkeys when the fund validation started almost two years ago. AUSkeys expire after two years and need to be renewed.

    To avoid problems using the fund validation service, check to see if your AUSkey needs to be renewed.

    Next steps:

    Your news and how to find it

    Super Communique

    Super Communique is a monthly email newsletter covering more detailed and technical administrative issues affecting the super industry. Topics include upcoming events, system updates, and reporting and processing issues.

    SuperUpdate

    SuperUpdate is an email newsletter for those working in the super industry. It includes more general information about issues and changes in the administration of Australia's super system. The newsletter provides a summary and links you to more detailed or technical information on our website.

    Super CRT Alerts

    Super CRT Alerts are an ad hoc email service sent to fund trustees, administrators and other industry stakeholders. CRT Alerts notify subscribers of urgent or significant issues affecting funds in relation to their reporting obligations and ATO system performance issues or outages. 

    ATO Superannuation Dashboard

    The ATO Superannuation Dashboard provides near-real-time response rates for SuperTICK and SuperMatch. It also provides announcements and planned system maintenance information for superannuation services including SuperTICK, SuperMatch, EmployerTICK, and Fund Validation Service (FVS). 

    Software developers news services

    Keep up to date with the latest news for superannuation software developers through a variety of channels.

    Software developers newsletter sends weekly updates about:

    • the latest news
    • upcoming engagements and consultations
    • software developers' website updates
    • planned system outages.

    Next steps:

    See also:

    Monthly super processing schedule

    The ATO super processing schedules for June and July 2017 are outlined below. This reflects the channel the files and payments will be sent through for each product.

    June 2017 super processing schedule

    Table 1 – June SuperStream schedule

    June date - date from

    SuperStream

    Tuesday 6 June

    Co-Contributions Remittance

    Friday 9 June

    USM Remittance

    Tuesday 13 June

    SG Recovery

    Tuesday 13 June

    SG Remittance

    Thursday 15 June

    SHAsa Remittance

    Tuesday 20 June

    LISC Remittance

    Thursday 22 June

    Co-contributions Recovery

    Table 2 – June ECI/Paper schedule

    June date - week starting

    ECI/Paper

    Monday 05 June

    Co-Contributions Remittance

    Monday 12 June

    USM Recovery

    Monday 12 June

    First Home Saver Account Remittance

    Monday 12 June

    USM Remittance

    Monday 12 June

    SG Recovery

    Monday 12 June

    SG Remittance

    Monday 12 June

    SHAsa Remittance

    Monday 19 June

    LISC Remittance

    Monday 26 June

    Co-contributions Recovery

    July 2017 super processing schedule

    Table 3 – July SuperStream schedule

    July - date from

    SuperStream

    Thursday 6 July

    LISC Recovery

    Friday 7 July

    USM Remittance

    Tuesday 11 July

    Co-Contributions Remittance

    Tuesday 18 July

    SG Recovery

    Tuesday 18 July

    SG Remittance

    Thursday 20 July

    SHAsa Remittance

    Friday 21 July

    USM Remittance

    Tuesday 22 July

    LISC Remittance

    Tuesday 1 August

    Co-Contributions Recovery

    Table 4 – July ECI/Paper schedule

    July - week starting

    ECI/Paper

    Monday 10 July

    LISC Recovery

    Monday 10 July

    USM Remittance

    Monday 10 July

    First Home Saver Account Remittance

    Monday 10 July

    Co-Contributions Remittance

    Monday 17 July

    USM Recovery

    Monday 17 July

    SG Recovery

    Monday 17 July

    SG Remittance

    Monday 24 July

    SHAsa Remittance

    Monday 24 July

    USM Remittance

    Monday 24 July

    LISC Remittance

    Monday 31 July

    Co-Contributions Recovery

    Super consultation report

    Here is the consultation report for the previous month and for the next two upcoming months. Send us your feedback SuperConsultation@ato.gov.au

    Visit Let's TalkExternal Link for a complete picture of all superannuation consultation and engagement activities.

    May 2017 Recap

    Table 5 – May 2017 Recap SuperStream

    Date

    SuperStream

    2 May

    Discussion on the personal super contributions deduction proposed advocacy changes

    4 May

    SuperStream Continuous Improvement Working Group

    4 & 18 May

    Contributions Implementation Working Group, Telepresence

    8 & 19 May

    Death benefit rollovers and potential updates to the Message Implementation guide (PHU)

    10 May

    SuperStream Technical Committee, Sydney

    17 May

    Superannuation Administration Stakeholders Group

    19 May

    Death benefit funds to determine family law split accumulation phase reporting requirements

    19 May

    Transactional Services Working Group, Telepresence

    24 May

    SuperStream Technical Committee Sydney, Telepresence

    24 May

    Superannuation Industry Stewardship Group

    Table 6 May 2017 Recap Super Changes

    Date

    Super Changes

    16 May

    Super Changes APRA Fund Consultation Group

    5, 12, 19 & 26 May

    Superannuation Changes Communication Committee

    Table 7 – May 2017 Recap Webinars

    Date

    Webinars

    9 May

    Capped defined benefit income streams

    18 May

    Fund reporting

    30 May

    Transfer balance ' Master class'

    June upcoming events

    Table 8 – June upcoming events SuperStream

    Date

    SuperStream

    1, 15 & 29 June

    Contributions Implementation Working Group, (PHU)

    1, 15 & 22 June

    Transaction Service Working Group

    2 June

    SuperStream Continuous Improvement Working Group

    5 & 21 June

    SuperStream Reference Group, telepresence

    15 June

    SuperStream Technical Committee, Sydney

    29 June

    SuperStream Technical Committee, telepresence

    Table 9 – June upcoming events Single Touch Payroll (STP)

    Date

    Single Touch Payroll (STP)

    1 June

    SuperStream Readiness Working Group

    6 June

    ATO open forum, Darwin

    7 June

    ATO open forum, Melbourne

    13 June

    Super changes webinar: Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset Measure/Personal Superannuation Contributions Deductions and Spouse Tax Offset

    14 June

    ATO open forum, Brisbane

    14 June

    Technical Working Group

    15 June

    Design Working Group Telepresence

    15 June

    ATO open forum, Toowoomba

    21 June

    Tax Practitioners Seminar, Canberra

    Table 10 – June upcoming events Super experience consultation

    Date

    Super experience consultation or engagement activity

    6 June

    Super Changes APRA Fund Consultation Group (PHU)

    9 & 23 June

    Superannuation Changes Communication Committee

    28 June

    Super Reform Program Board

    Table 11 – July upcoming events APRA- regulated fund consultation

    Date

    APRA-regulated fund consultation or engagement activity

    12 July

    SuperStream Technical Committee (SSTC), Sydney

    14 July

    Single Touch Payroll Design Working Group, telepresence

    20 July

    Single Touch Payroll Advisory Group, telepresence

    26 July

    Single Touch Payroll Engagement Forum, Sydney

    26 July

    SuperStream Technical Committee (SSTC), telepresence

      Last modified: 22 Jun 2017QC 52631