• Fund Validation Service (FVS) – Frequently asked questions

    General Questions

    What is the Fund Validation Service (FVS)?
    The FVS is a suite of services supporting the implementation of the Superannuation Data & Payment Standard ‘the Standard’, part of the government’s Super Reform Package. The Standard provides a consistent, reliable electronic method of transacting linked superannuation data and payments.

    The FVS supports the Standard by providing a service for funds to meet their regulatory obligation to provide rollover and contribution information on the Fund Details Register.

    How does the FVS work?
    The FVS is accessed through the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) framework. You may need to build or purchase FVS enabled software from a developer or provider who has done this for you.

    What is a Unique Superannuation Identifier (USI)?
    A Unique superannuation identifier (USI) is used to identify super funds and individual super fund products for electronic rollovers and contributions. A super fund may have one USI or it may have a USI for each product. The USI allows monies to be paid to funds at the product or sub-fund level instead of fund level.

    The FVS supports the Standard by providing a service for funds to meet their regulatory obligation to provide rollover and contribution information on the Fund Details Register.

    Is the FVS compulsory?
    Use of the FVS is compulsory for APRA regulated funds and retirement savings account (RSA) providers.

    Exempt Public Sector Super Schemes (EPSSS) may choose to be listed on the register.

    In order to support the voluntary adoption of the Standard by a life insurance company, the Commissioner may publish details of annuity products in the register.

    Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) are not included in the FVS. Payments to SMSFs will continue to be made at the fund level.

    When do we need to have purchased or built the FVS enabled software?
    The FVS is a suite of services supporting the Superannuation Data & Payment Standard.  

    A transitional service has been in place since 1 July 2013, using a combination of the ATO Business Portal to collect superannuation information which is published fortnightly through the Data Transfer Facility

    The transitional FVS has been replaced by the following web-services:

    • Get (FVSG) – obtain details of a superannuation product including bank details, electronic service address and contact details.
    • List (FVSL) – obtain a list of product names and product Unique Superannuation Identifiers (USI) is returned.
    • Lodge (FVSU) – allows superannuation funds to update USI details

    The FVS web-services were released as follows:

    • final version of the fortnightly FVS, version 51 – was published on 25 June
    • to provide stability of the Fund Details Register during the release of the web-services, there was a freeze on USI updates between 19 June and 27 July 2015
    • from 13 July 2015, the FVSG web-service has been the authoritative version of the Fund Details Register

    There was a soft cutover for the FVS Lodge (FVSU) Service from Monday, 27 July 2015:

    • from this date changes to the FVS can be made either via the new FVS Update web service or via the existing Business Portal facility
    • users can lodge updates through one channel only
    • where a fund has access to the FVS Update web-service, they are expected to use the web-service to update their USI information
    • dual channels for updates will be maintained by the ATO until 18 September 2015, at which point the Portal facility will become inoperative
    • the ATO will continue to work with developers to progress their testing and implementation readiness for the service – this should be seen as a priority for all remaining developers during August
    • users are reminded that any updates to the FVS require a minimum of 10 business days prior notice to the date of effect
    • the ATO is closely monitoring updates for compliance with this requirement and to quality assure updates during this period.

    From 18 September 2015 updates to the FVS will only be accepted through the FVSU web service. Any superannuation provider not able to access the FVSU web service by 18 September 2015 must have alternate arrangements in place with a third-party provider.

    Any trustee unable to link with the FVSU web service by 18 September 2015 should contact us by email at SuperStreamstandards@ato.gov.au. Please quote the relevant USIs and provide your contact details in the body of the email.

    Are we able to test the production version of the FVS using test data?
    No. A test environment is available for FVS developers with a number of scenarios with defined responses provided.

    The FVS should only be used for the purposes of making a contribution or rollover in accordance with SuperStream.

    The production version must be used in accordance with the terms and conditions for use of the. The terms and conditions are available at Validation service-terms and conditions.

    What is the difference between Primary vs Secondary data?
    Data to be used for contributions is recorded in the register as primary data. Data to be used for rollovers is recorded in the register as secondary data. Only some data fields will have primary and secondary fields, as noted below. Where a fund only provides primary data, this will by default be used for secondary (rollover) messages and payments.

    FVS Update Service

    Can I have multiple USIs?
    A fund is not limited by the regulations regarding the number of USIs it can nominate per registrable superannuation entity (RSE). However there are practical consequences flowing from a large number of USIs. These include the extra administrative burden in maintaining the associated fund details and the potential to make it harder (rather than easier) for employers and funds to deal with you electronically.

    Careful thought should be applied to minimising the number of USIs, bank accounts and service addresses a sender has to deal with. Wherever possible, it makes good business sense to shield external parties from the internal complexity of your systems thereby reducing the likelihood of allocation errors.

    Can I have more than one electronic service address for each USI?
    The regulations state that a Trustee must provide one electronic service address for each USI of an entity, which will be a gateway intermediary service as its end-point. A second electronic service address may be provided for a USI if a fund chooses a different gateway intermediary for contributions and rollovers. In this instance, the ATO will treat the contributions address as the primary service address and the rollover address as the secondary service address.

    What do I do if I find an error in the register?
    If you discover a significant error in the register and this error is likely to cause rollovers or contributions to fail or be misdirected, you should immediately re-lodge an update to the USI record via the web service. This will then lead to the register being corrected.

    A Trustee still retains legal responsibility under the regulations to correct errors.

    Where there is an error in critical information, such as effective dates, FIA details or service addresses you should also advise the ATO via SuperStreamstandards@ato.gov.au.

    Depending on severity, the ATO may choose to publish a notice about critical errors to its website or via alternative channels if needed.

    What security and fraud risks associated with the FVS should I be aware of?
    There are two principal threats that we have identified:

    • A threat agent (internal staff and/or external collaborator) could attempt to create false USI identities on your behalf or change bank account or service address details of authentic USIs.
    • A threat agent (internal staff, external collaborator and/or hacker) could try to change, steal or otherwise compromise bank account details and other identifiers of funds by accessing your systems or intercepting your communications/download sessions with the ATO.

    All trustees should consider how they mitigate risks to their systems supporting the register. As a minimum ensure that you follow the lodgment and verification processes and security guidelines referenced within this guide. You are responsible for applying appropriate fraud prevention and security controls within your environment.

    We have in place a comprehensive set of security and fraud controls to mitigate the risks associated with managing the register and associated interactions with you on data collection and dissemination.

    The controls include those relating to the verification of bank account information.

    How does a fund appoint another entity to access the FVS Update Service on its behalf?

    1. The Administrator AUSkey holder for the fund logs into Access Manager.
    2. Select ‘Who has access to my business’ from the left hand menu.

    A list of appointed businesses already authorised for at least one activity will be listed. Check that the business you are seeking to appoint does not already have a current business appointment from your fund. If the business has already been appointed you do not need to take any further action.

    1. If the ABN does not appear, click on Appoint new business. Enter the ABN of the business you want to appoint. Then select ‘Continue’. The system will check the validity of the ABN and will progress to the next screen if the ABN entered is valid.
    2. On the next screen under the ‘Business Details’ heading you will see a list of online functionality. To permit another entity to update the FVS select the ‘Lodge super product details’ box.
    3. ‘Save’ the record.
    4. You have now granted authority for another entity to update the FVS register on your behalf.
    5. The Access Manager permissions for these services are displayed with the following description, and whether business appointments are available for the service:

    Web-service name

    Access Manager description

    Business Appointments

    FVS Lodge (FVSU)

    Lodge super product details

    Available

    FVS List (FVSL)

    List super products

    Available

    FVS Get (FVSG) – Single

    View super product details

    Available

    FVS Get (FVSG) – Bulk

    Not displayed

    Not available

    If authorisation of an agent is withdrawn, you should remove the Business Appointment using Access Manager.

    Further assistance with Access Manager and making business appointments is available from the Access Manager Support pageExternal Link.

      Last modified: 24 Sep 2015QC 46950