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  • SuperStream glossary of terms

    Table 1: SuperStream glossary of terms



    APRA-regulated fund

    A super fund regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

    APRA-regulated funds must be able to send and receive electronic messages and payments using the SuperStream standard.


    A secure login that identifies you when you use participating government online servicesExternal Link on behalf of a business. AUSkey enables secure access to ATO online services (for example, our Fund Validation Service and EmployerTICK).

    Bulk Electronic Clearing System (BECS)

    The self-regulatory framework that supports the exchange and settlement of direct credit and direct debit transactions among banks, building societies and credit unions.


    An electronic bill payment system which enables payments to registered BPAY billers through a financial institution’s online banking facility.

    Data message

    The information (such as member, super fund and payment) sent electronically in support of a super payment.

    Default fund

    The (employer-nominated) super fund an employee's super guarantee contributions will be paid to, if they have not chosen an alternate super fund.

    A default fund must be a complying fund registered by APRA to offer a MySuper product. It must also offer a minimum level of life insurance.

    Electronic commerce interface (ECI)

    An internet-based application that allows businesses and their service providers to deal electronically with the ATO using recognised electronic certificates.

    ECI is closing in December 2019.

    Electronic payment destination

    The method used by employers and funds to make payments electronically.

    SuperStream payments can be made by either BECS or BPAY.

    Electronic portability form (EPF)

    An ATO-hosted form that can be used by fund members to transfer the whole balance of super accounts between APRA-regulated funds, or to the member's self-managed super fund.

    Electronic service address (ESA)

    Identifies where the super contribution data message is sent for a particular fund. It can be an Internet Protocol (IP) address, uniform resource locator (URL) or an alias.

    For APRA-regulated funds, employers can give the destination fund’s unique superannuation identifier to their service provider, who can obtain a fund’s ESA by using the Fund Validation Service. Alternatively, employers can obtain this information directly from the APRA-regulated fund.

    For SMSFs, this is known as the electronic service address alias, and is obtained from a SMSF messaging service provider.

    Our website has a register of SuperStream messaging service providers.

    Employer contributions

    Contributions an employer makes to a super fund for their employees (including super guarantee contributions and contributions made under a salary sacrifice arrangement).


    A service that allows employers to check employee details (including name, TFN, date of birth and address) before sending contributions to a fund.

    Fund Validation Service (FVS)

    A service that enables employers and funds to obtain APRA-regulated funds’ e-commerce details that support SuperStream transactions (including unique superannuation identifier, bank account details, and electronic service addresses). SMSF details are not included in the FVS.


    Gateways facilitate the transfer of electronic data messages within the SuperStream network.

    Genuine attempt

    Employers and super funds will be deemed to have made a genuine attempt to prepare for SuperStream if they have:

    • an implementation plan in place with a service provider
    • set a start date for sending or receiving their first SuperStream-compliant transactions.

    Service providers (intermediaries)

    A term used to collectively describe entities that assist super funds and employers in processing super transactions (e.g. payroll software providers, outsourced payroll providers, clearing houses, message handlers and super fund administrators).

    Medium-to-large employer

    An employer with 20 or more employees.

    Legislative Instrument

    For SuperStream, this is the legal document that specifies the technical requirements, including the transitional arrangements allowed, when finalising SuperStream implementation.

    Message handler

    A service provider that sends, receives or transforms data in a SuperStream-compliant format on behalf of a fund or employer.

    Payment reference number

    A unique identifier that links the super payment and the data message.

    Related party

    Related parties of a super fund include members of the fund, standard employer sponsors and ‘Part 8 associates’, such as relatives of members and companies controlled by one or more of the members.

    Self-managed super fund (SMSF)

    A super fund with four or fewer members, regulated by the ATO.

    SMSFs that don't receive employer contributions, or only receive employer contributions from related parties, are exempt from SuperStream.

    SMSF messaging provider

    Entities that simplify how SMSFs can receive employer contribution messages arriving via a secure electronic distribution network (in line with SuperStream obligations). SMSF messaging providers translate these messages into a format that SMSF trustees can access.

    Messaging providers will register the SMSF and provide an electronic service address (alias) that can be provided to employers.

    Small employer

    An employer with 19 or fewer employees.

    Super TFN integrity check service (SuperTICK)

    An online service that improves the integrity of data used by super funds when meeting their super obligations (such as processing rollover requests).

    SuperTICK allows a fund to check a member’s details, including their tax file number, against ATO records.

    Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH)

    A free, government-provided super clearing house that can be used by small employers (19 or fewer employees).

    Superannuation clearing house

    An external service provider that arranges the sending of super data and payments to funds on behalf of an employer.

    Clearing houses provide a central collection and dissemination point for employers to meet their payroll obligations, including super.


    A government reform to improve the efficiency of the super system. Under SuperStream, all super transactions will be sent electronically.

    Employers are required to send super contributions on behalf of their employees by submitting data and payments electronically.

    All super funds, including SMSFs, must be able to receive contributions sent electronically. Additionally, APRA-regulated funds are required to receive rollovers electronically.

    Superannuation services

    Commonly referred to as EmployerTICK and SuperTICK. These ATO services enable employers and funds to check the details of an employee or member before they send a contribution or process a rollover request.

    Unique Superannuation Identifier (USI)

    Identifies a super product within an APRA-regulated fund. The USI may be the APRA-regulated fund’s ABN with three additional digits, or the fund’s current super product identification number (SPIN).

    SMSFs don't have a USI – the Australian business number (ABN) acts as the fund identifier.

      Last modified: 05 Sep 2019QC 43072