• SuperStream compliance statement – employers and SMSFs

    All employers, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regulated funds and trustees of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) should be SuperStream (the standard) compliant.

    The SuperStream standard

    The standard involves sending and receiving contributions electronically in a prescribed format, with linked data and payments. It prescribes the minimum data set and electronic payment options that can be used.

    The Commissioner of Taxation is responsible for ensuring employers and SMSF trustees comply with their obligations under the standard. APRA is responsible for ensuring the compliance of APRA-regulated super funds.

    Helping you to comply

    Our first priority is to help you understand and comply with your obligations under SuperStream.

    We recognise implementing SuperStream may represent a significant change for some small businesses. To assist, we'll continue to provide education and support, including information on this website such as checklists and user guides. We'll support and work with you while you are finalising your implementation.

    Where we identify employers that aren't SuperStream compliant, we'll work with you to identify any impacting issues in the first instance.

    We recognise there may be circumstances, from time to time, where it's not possible for an employer or SMSF to comply with their SuperStream obligations. For information on exceptional circumstances, see Employer SuperStream FAQs.

    Partnering with industry

    We have asked super funds to work with employers to make sure contributions are sent electronically, payments and data are linked, and the required data is provided. It's to be expected there may be some issues when SuperStream contributions are first made, but we anticipate the majority of SuperStream-related issues will be resolved during your first few contribution cycles.

    However, if a super fund is unable to resolve significant issues experienced with an employer (for example, refusal to send contributions using SuperStream), they can provide this information to us.

    We'll use this information to identify systemic issues impacting SuperStream implementation, particularly for small employers. For large and medium employers, this information could initiate compliance activities or action. We'll undertake analysis to understand the circumstances and better inform our compliance approach.

    Where systemic issues are identified, our compliance activities will focus on resolving common issues experienced across many employers or SMSFs.

    Example

    If we receive information that a number of employers are not SuperStream compliant, we'll determine if there are patterns or common causes involved. Further analysis may reveal that the small employers are reliant on a single payroll provider, which is a common source of the problem. Our compliance approach would be to work in partnership with the payroll provider to ensure this is fixed at the earliest opportunity and stakeholders are kept informed. No compliance action would be taken in this situation.

    End of example

    Compliance action

    We have increased our focus on small employers and SMSFs identified as not complying with their SuperStream obligations. We'll be looking to ensure the contribution information and electronic arrangements specified by law are being complied with.

    We're working to identify large and medium employers not meeting their SuperStream obligations with targeted client engagement activities.

    We may contact employers and SMSF trustees to discuss their SuperStream readiness, to understand if there are any difficulties and to remind them of their legal responsibilities.

    We have a range of compliance enforcement options we can apply if the behaviour of the employer or SMSF doesn't change. These include issuing a direction notice or applying administrative penalties for not complying with the SuperStream obligations set out in the Superannuation (Industry) Supervision Act.

    For example, we may issue a direction notice requiring an employer or an SMSF to take certain actions (such as obtaining a certified SuperStream sending solution) to become compliant with the law. If the employer does not comply with the direction notice within 21 days, we may impose an administrative penalty of up to $1,800.

    These penalties will be imposed or remitted in line with our principles for applying administrative penalties generally. This includes not penalising entities that have made an honest and reasonable attempt to comply.

    We may consider prosecution action if an entity persistently and consistently disregards its obligations under the standard.

    We'll also work in collaboration with APRA, which is responsible for ensuring APRA-regulated funds comply with their obligations under the standard.

    See also:

      Last modified: 04 Jan 2017QC 37903