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  • Step-by-step guide

    You should check that your current payment method meets SuperStream requirements:

    If you aren't meeting SuperStream requirements, here's how you can:

    Step 1: Choose an option

    To meet SuperStream requirements, you need to pay super contributions and send the associated employee information electronically in a standard format. You can use:

    You can ask your accountant or bookkeeper to help you with one of these options.

    Payroll system

    If you use a payroll system, ask your system provider if it is SuperStream compliant. If it isn't, you may need to update your system.

    Some payroll systems cover both information and payments, but some cover information only and you may need to pay super contributions to each super fund separately. Either way, your payments must be electronic (electronic funds transfer (EFT) or BPAY®) to meet SuperStream requirements.

    Even if you are already paying super contributions by EFT or BPAY, you may not be reporting your SuperStream data electronically in a standard format.

    If you're not sure, you should speak to your super fund. If your super fund cannot help you with reporting your data electronically in a standard format, you should look at other SuperStream options available to you.

    See also:

    Your super fund's online system

    Large super funds have online payment services you can use. You may be able to continue to contribute directly to each fund, as long as you send both the payment and information electronically. You should check with your fund to see if this is possible in your circumstances.

    Super clearing house

    A clearing house pays super contributions to your employees' super funds for you. You send a single electronic payment to the clearing house, together with the contribution information for all your employees, and the clearing house does the rest.

    If you have 19 or fewer employees, or a turnover of less than $10 million a year, you can use our free Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH).

    You can also choose from several commercial options, or your super fund may have a clearing house you can use. Talk to your fund to see what they offer.

    Remember, even if you outsource some parts of making super contributions, you're still responsible for ensuring your employees' super is paid correctly.

    See also:

    Messaging portal

    A messaging portal can convert contribution information for your employees to a SuperStream compliant format and send it to the relevant funds for you. You still need to make one electronic payment. You can talk to your messaging portal provider and financial institution for help with this.

    Step 2: Collect information and update your records

    To pay the SuperStream way, you'll need to collect the following information from your employees:

    • your employee's tax file number (TFN)
    • the Australian business number (ABN) of your employee's super fund
    • the unique superannuation identifier (USI) of your employee's super fund.

    If your employees have a self-managed super fund (SMSF), they need to give you slightly different information:

    • your employee's TFN
    • the ABN of your employee's SMSF
    • the bank account details of your employee's SMSF
    • the electronic service address of your employee's SMSF.

    If your employee with an SMSF hasn't provided you with these details, you may be able to redirect their contributions to your default fund, subject to some conditions.

    You should follow these steps:

    1. Tell your employee what information you need and give them a reasonable period to respond.
    2. If you don't receive the information, ask the employee to complete a Superannuation (super) standard choice form and return it to you within 28 days. This form will gather the SuperStream information you need.
    3. If you still don't receive the information, you may send their contributions to your default fund.

    You may still be able to give your employee more time to respond, but they need to provide you with this information before you start making their SuperStream contributions.

    If you're paying your own super contributions to your own SMSF, you don't need this information for these contributions.

    See also:

    Where to find the information

    Your employees can find their super fund's ABN and USI on their latest super statement or by calling their fund.

    A unique superannuation identifier (USI) is a series of letters and/or numbers that identify a super fund, or a particular super product it offers. A USI identifies where a super contribution needs to go. When you make a super contribution under SuperStream, the USI ensures your payment and all the information you report go to the right destination – your employee's super account.

    You can also find a fund's ABN and USI using Super Fund Lookup. However, a fund may have more than one USI, so you'll need to confirm the correct USI with your employee.

    If you make employer contributions to funds using a superannuation product identification number (SPIN), you'll need to obtain the USI this SPIN corresponds to – you can find this using the Fund USI and SPIN lookup table.

    See also:

    Step 3: Pay the SuperStream way

    It may take time for you to collect the required information and get used to paying and reporting correctly. If any information you provide is incomplete or incorrect, your super contribution payment is likely to be rejected by the super fund.

    It's still up to you to meet your super guarantee obligations by the due date.

    You must send the payment and data on the same day. This lets the super fund reconcile your payment and information and allocate the contribution to the fund member's account.

    If you're using a clearing house, check how long they will take to send the money and information to the super fund. Generally, an employee's super contribution is counted as being paid on the date the fund receives the payment, not the date a clearing house receives it from you.

    If you use our SBSCH, your super obligations are met on the date the SBSCH accepts the payment (so long as the super fund doesn't reject the payment). This is because the SBSCH is an ‘approved clearing house’ under government regulations.

    Paying Super contributions without an ABN

    If you're not eligible for an ABN, you can use your withholding payer number (WPN) to use SuperStream.

    Your WPN is found on your pay as you go (PAYG) withholding registration advice or your activity statement.

    A WPN is shorter than an ABN so, depending on your SuperStream solution, you may need to:

    If you're eligible for an ABN but don't have one, you should register for an ABN at the Australian Business Register website.

    See also:

    SuperStream and Security

    All SuperStream transmissions are encrypted and use sending and receiving protocols that all parties must follow.

    Security of employee information starts with you, and should be considered in all your dealings in the super system. This means you should:

    • implement security best practices when personal information is stored in payroll solutions or transmitted over the internet
    • make sure any service providers you use for super have well-developed policies, terms and conditions governing security of information.

    We don't provide regulatory oversight of commercial clearing houses or other service providers. We do operate the SBSCH and apply security practices in its operations, including interactions with employers and funds.

    Trustees of Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) funds are bound by the provisions of use in protecting member information under the Superannuation (Industry) Supervision Act and Privacy Act requirements. These requirements also apply to any outsourcing arrangements entered into by trustees, including the use of services providers such as clearing houses and gateways.

    See also:

    Last modified: 30 Apr 2019QC 47544