Welcome and opening remarks
Larissa Evans opened the meeting with the acknowledgment to country and welcomed those in attendance, noting the changes to the Superannuation Administration Group (SAG) membership.
Your Future, Your Super
Katie Constance provided an overview of the Your Future, Your Super measure.
It was noted that the delivery of the Your Future, Your Super program has shifted to the Engagement and Support, Fund Services branch in the ATO with Larissa Evans as the Senior Accountable Officer and Tracie Crowden as the Project lead.
There are two elements of the Your Future, Your Super measure that the ATO will deliver:
- a stapled fund account request service – providing the ability for an employer to request details of an individual’s existing super account
- the Comparison Tool of MySuper products.
The Bill has been introduced into Parliament.
The stapling of account and comparison tool designs are being worked through; however, details of the measure are still to be included in regulations.
It was noted that the current design for the stapling service is that an employer will be able to obtain details of an employee’s stapled account through an online service.
An article in the Digital service providers (DSPs) newsletter referenced 1 July 2022 changes for tax and superannuation software providers. The ATO clarified that this change impact will be to employer's Business Management Software, so will not impact superannuation DSPs.
Early release of super update
Reece Parry provided an update on the COVID-19 Early release of super (ERS) program.
The ERS program has now ceased as of 31 December 2020. The remaining suspended applications have now been cleared.
There is still a small number of applications to be assessed, which largely relate to requests for remediation.
The process of sending determinations and additional information files to funds via the Bulk Data Exchange, ceased on 29 January 2021. Any determinations that have been sent after this date have been sent via Data Transfer Facility (DTF).
The ATO is shutting down the system functionality to accept and process applications in the March 2021 IT system release. While it is expected to be unlikely, if there are any determinations received after this date, the DTF process will remain in place and the ATO will work directly with funds to manage these.
The ATO thanked SAG members and the broader super industry for their support and engagement throughout the COVID-19 ERS program.
Rollovers v3 update
Ian Morgan provided an update on SuperStream rollovers version 3, including SMSFs rollovers and electronic release authorities.
The Rollovers v3 project has entered a new phase as entities have commenced testing and we are moving towards onboarding.
The ATO are producing a weekly update on External Vendor Testing Environment and gateway testing progress that will be shared with external industry groups as well as published to the Rollover standard v3.0 web page.
Following feedback from industry, the ATO is addressing an issue regarding a misalignment with one of the fields in the Schedule 4b taxonomy regarding the release authority product code. Schedule 4b is being updated to ensure the name of the release authority product type code aligns to that in the taxonomy.
The ATO is also updating the user guide to provide clarity around the ATO reference ID field in the release authority messages. This will be populated in the ‘initiator conversation ID’ field of the release authority, and should be replayed by funds in their response.
It was recommended that the ATO communicate directly with industry as soon as the documentation has been updated.
The ATO will be commencing regular onboarding meetings. The meetings are expected to run fortnightly and will focus on providing updates on testing experience, learnings and issues management. Further advice will issue to industry once the details are confirmed.
The ATO is working to develop an onboarding orchestration plan which will be shared firstly with the co-design group and the broader industry once available.
The ATO plans to issue communications to industry to mark the shift in the different phase of the project.
Reuniting more super (ERF and trustee discretion payments)
Danny Parker provided an update on the Reuniting More Super (ERF and trustee voluntary payments) initiative.
The measure facilitates the closure of Eligible Rollover Funds (ERF) and introduces a new category of Trustee Voluntary Payments (TVP) into the unclaimed superannuation money (USM) and proactive consolidation framework. The Bill is scheduled for debate in the Senate on 17 February 2021.
With regard to ERFs, as this is a temporary change (in that ERFs will have to complete reporting and will then cease), an existing USM code will be used for these transactions up until 31 January 2022. There won’t be a need for a new external USM code.
The ATO is proposing to use code Q which is the small lost member accounts to process ERF payments, identifying accounts by Australian Business Number of the reporting entity.
The group was provided with an example option for the timing of TVP, which proposed two major reporting dates, noting these dates are an example and yet to be confirmed.
Members discussed the suitability of the TVP reporting dates and the rationale behind using code Q for both ERF payments and TVP. Further discussion is required to unpack what the end to end process would look like for an interim solution.
Industry members were invited to submit questions or feedback regarding the ERF and TVP proposal for the interim reporting solution and reporting due dates to FSEGovernance@ato.gov.au
Following the feedback received, the ATO will consider convening an out of session SAG meeting to work through the detail surrounding the interim reporting solution.
Operational performance report
Kellie Johnson provided an update on the Operational Performance Report (OPR).
The ATO met with the OPR co-design group in December 2020 to present the OPR prototype. Positive feedback was received on the visual design and metrics displayed, but the group agreed more work was required on the communication around the intent and purpose of the OPR.
The intent and purpose of the report was reaffirmed – it is not a compliance tool, but a product to provide insights and transparency into the event-based reporting operating environment.
A communication strategy will be developed to support the report prior to its implementation. As part of this work the co-design group will look at renaming the report to better reflect the intent and value the report will provide and review the proposed delivery timeline.
Members queried what benefits have been realised with the implementation of Member Account Transaction Service (MATS) and Single Touch Payroll (STP) event-based reporting from an ATO perspective. The ATO will invite members of the Employer Obligations Risk and Strategy team to a future SAG meeting to discuss the programs in place for how the STP and MATS data is used. SAG members were also encouraged to share their insights about benefits from the perspective of their fund members.
Fund engagement updates
Alastair Ramsay provided an update on the Online services for business project.
Following the successful private beta that ran in late 2020, the Online services for business project has moved to a public beta on 20 January 2021 and is available for anyone to be involved.
The ATO gave thanks to the funds that were involved in the private beta for their support and feedback.
The public beta is an important part of the testing process to ensure the Online services for business portal meets the needs of a broad range of users and is working as intended. The support for the public beta is provided by the ATO business enquiry support line, ATO Community, the online services for business website, and the Engagement and Support Fund Services Client Relationship Managers to provide support at the fund reporting level.
The online services for business project team will be collecting feedback from the public beta via the ‘give us your feedback’ form available on the online services for business website.
Industry members provided feedback regarding the need to ensure there is appropriate information available around the privacy and security protocols with using the new portal.
Other feedback included increasing the release of communications to industry to advise the Online services for business portal is available to use, including a timeline for when other features of the portal will be available, for example, the ability to access Release Authority forms in the online services for business history.
The ATO confirmed that member verification will not be a feature in the Online services for business portal. The Rollovers v3 co-design group will discuss the interim arrangements regarding access to the member verification service.
Rod Moreland provided an update on the Super Enquiry Service project.
The Super Enquiry Service is a new proposed solution to communicate directly with funds via the Jira platform.
Internal testing of the service occurred late 2020 into January 2021. The ATO is now progressing to a private beta with testing to take place for two weeks commencing on 9 March 2021 with four funds. A review process will include weekly meetings with participants to consider any feedback or issues with using the service.
A summary of the testing and recommendations will be provided to the SAG as well as a Super News article to issue to the broader super industry.
The ATO to consider the ability for a fund or administrator to be able to share/export information with fund clients that is captured in the Super Enquiry Service.
Other business and close
Members were provided with two papers for noting; the SuperMatch v9 reconnection update and the Super changes industry roadmap.
The updated Transfer Balance Account Report specification document is available on the DSP website. Details on how to subscribe to the DSP website are available at ATO Newsletter and Alerts Subscription Centre. The updates covered the process for SMSFs to respond to a commutation authority but there are no changes to the process for Australian Prudential Regulation Authority funds.
Industry members were welcomed to provide suggestions for agenda items they would like covered at future SAG meetings. Any input can be sent to FSEGovernance@ato.gov.au
Larissa thanked members for their attendance and contributions.Summary of the key topics discussed at the Superannuation Administration Group meeting 17 February 2021.