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  • SuperStream rollovers and release authorities for SMSFs

    There will be some changes for self-managed super funds (SMSFs) due to measures announced by the government in 2019.

    From 1 October 2021, to rollover any super to or from your SMSF, you will need to use SuperStream.

    These changes will impact your SMSF if your members want to:

    • rollover funds to your SMSF, such as transferring money from any other super fund to your SMSF
    • rollover funds from your SMSF, which includes when you are winding up your SMSF
    • receive and action certain release authorities including first home super saver (FHSS) scheme more quickly via SuperStream.

    What is SuperStream

    SuperStream is a data and payment standard used for digital transactions within the super industry. Many SMSFs already use SuperStream for contributions, and large super funds also use SuperStream as their primary way to transact with employers, other large funds, and the ATO.

    Benefits of SuperStream

    SuperStream rollovers can be processed faster, more efficiently and with fewer errors.

    For SMSFs who can receive release authorities in the SuperStream standard, the benefits include eliminating postage delays so your super monies can be released faster. This may mean for example quicker access to FHSS scheme money for your first home purchase or releasing amounts over the contributions caps sooner, so they incur less interest.

    What you need

    For SuperStream you will need:

    • an electronic service address (ESA)
    • an Australian business number (ABN)
    • to ensure your SMSF details are up to date, including your SMSF's bank account.

    Given the digital nature of these transactions, you may also consider appointing professionals to help you.

    Electronic service address (ESA)

    To use SuperStream your SMSF needs an active ESA. This is a special internet address (that is different to an email address) that helps SuperStream transactions get to the right destination – see Electronic service address.

    From 1 October 2021, if you don’t have an active ESA you will not be able to rollover funds to or from your SMSF. Release authorities will be issued to you in paper via the mail.

    Make sure your SMSF has an active ESA:

    • If you already use SuperStream to receive contributions, or have had an ESA in the past, you should check with your provider that it is still active.
    • If you have an active ESA, you will also need to check that your current ESA provider will be providing rollover SuperStream services as well.

    If you use an SMSF administrator or use SMSF software from a provider, they may have issued you with an ESA as part of their service. If unsure you can check with them about this and their plans regarding SuperStream rollovers.

    If none of the above apply to you, you can get an electronic service address from an SMSF messaging provider. Alternatively, you may like to consider appointing professionals to help you manage SuperStream rollovers and release authorities on your behalf.

    Australian business number (ABN)

    From 1 October 2021, if you want to rollover funds to or from your SMSF, you will need an ABN to use SuperStream.

    If your SMSF doesn’t have an ABN, you can apply for one via the Australian Business RegisterExternal Link (ABR).

    Update your SMSF details

    Make sure the details we hold for your SMSF are accurate and up to date. To check your SMSF’s details:

    • if you have a myGov account, check via ATO online services or the ABR
    • talk to your registered tax agent
    • contact us.

    If you need to advise us of your SMSF’s new or updated details, you can notify us of changes to your SMSF. This includes your SMSF’s new or updated:

    • ESA
    • financial institution account
    • members and trustee details.

    Consider appointing professionals to help you

    Many SMSFs already use SuperStream for contributions and often use an SMSF professional to meet their SuperStream transaction requirements.

    Some SMSF professionals provide SuperStream ready software that you can use for these electronic transactions, or they can undertake these transactions on behalf of your SMSF.

    You may like to consider appointing professionals to help you manage SuperStream rollovers and release authorities on your behalf if you haven’t already.

    When you need to take action

    You can get prepared early, then start using SuperStream anytime from 31 March 2021 depending on when your ESA provider will be transitioning.

    From 1 October 2021 you must be SuperStream ready if you want to rollover funds to or from your SMSF. If you are not SuperStream ready by then:

    • APRA-regulated super funds will be unable to process your rollover request
    • an SMSF to SMSF rollover will contravene the trustees' regulatory obligations.

    Once you have transitioned to SuperStream rollovers, we’ll also send certain release authorities to you via SuperStream.

    Technical documentation

    Technical information for SMSF software providers and other SMSF intermediaries is available at Link.

    Last modified: 27 Nov 2020QC 64222