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Superannuation Administration Group key messages 20 October 2021

Summary of the key topics discussed at the Superannuation Administration Group meeting 20 October 2021.

Last updated 17 November 2021

Welcome and opening remarks

Tracie Crowden opened the meeting with an acknowledgment to country and welcomed those in attendance. Ian Roberts, George Strilakos and Julie Rowland were noted as apologies.

Rollovers v3 update

Belinda Black provided an update on SuperStream rollovers version 3. Key messages included:

  • Industry made it to the conformance date of 30 September – 93% of funds and 6 SMSFs providers were transacting in version 3 as at 30 September.
    • as at 28 October, it is at 99%
    • the project team will wind up industry meetings shortly
    • adhoc support will continue to be available to industry.
  • Government to Business (G2B) testing will move into business as usual.
  • Production verification testing support will continue for some SMSF providers.
  • The project team received feedback from APRA funds and SMSFs on production activities, and therefore developed and published articles in the SMSF News and Super News. An article for Tax Agents is scheduled to issue shortly.

Post meeting note – Actioning a release authority in SuperStream Super News article was published.

  • Fund Validation Service is now very clean with almost 99% of funds on v3. There have been a few anomalies which will be cleaned up this month, therefore v2 may be wound up sooner than expected. This will be decided in consultation with industry.
  • SMSF verification service has had some teething problems including the need to clarify with industry what a ‘Not Verified’ response means and that a manual request to the Commissioner is no longer required.
  • Electronic Release Authority processing has been significantly streamlined and positive feedback has been received from industry about this initiative.

Key discussion points:

  • Member was told a fix is being tested for an XBL validation error, however it is the same error that is occurring for USM which the ATO said could not be resolved.
    • Belinda Black confirmed this was on the issues register and a fix has been deployed for the release authorities issue. She also undertook to get back to the member about resolving both scenarios.
  • Members noted there was not a timely push channel for funds to find out when ESA providers come online (the monthly DPO newsletter for gateways is not real time).
    • It was noted that the ATO is looking at developing a confluence alert when the register updates, as well as an ‘Alias type’ look-up.

Post meeting note – ATO to consider an article to promote updates to the SMSF Alias Lookup table so funds can self-serve.

Sue Pearce thanked Belinda and her team as well as industry for their support and amazing work on the Rollovers v3 project. Tracie Crowden noted that when the ATO partners with industry on design, there are fewer problems and better outcomes for both sides, for example, efficiency gains for the turnover of release authorities had gone from 19 days to five days which is an enormous improvement.

Your Future, Your Super

Katie Constance provided an update on the Your Future, Your Super project. Key messages included:

  • There has been no significant change to the super fund request service screens since the last meeting.
  • The Comparison tool has had over 700,000 views, and there was a spike in usage when underperformance notices were issued to members from funds.
    • Approximately one third of these notices lead to closure of accounts in the authenticated version (which is tracked, the unauthenticated version of the tool is not tracked).
  • ATO will soon receive a user testing report involving a range of stakeholders to refine the usability of the Comparison tool.
  • ATO is aware of a proposed legislative amendment to the application of the stapled account rules and request service due to start 1 November, however cannot comment until such time legislation is passed.
  • Treasury’s advertising campaign started on 10 October and points to as the single source of truth.
  • A stapled super funds employer webcast (20-25 mins) will be released in the next couple of days via the ATO’s social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter).
  • Project team has been developing articles, web content, replying to a steady stream of queries from employers and doing a number of industry presentations, including ASFA.
    • ATO has constantly reinforced the message that the employee – employer link must be created before the ATO can disclose information, which has meant some employers have needed to change their onboarding processes, for example, timing of when they submit TFN declarations to the ATO (which the ATO processes in real time).
  • Early next week the ATO and Fair Work will release shareable factsheet content about their joint position.

Post meeting note – The Stapled super funds Reference guide (PDF 406KB)This link will download a file is available.

Key discussion points included:

  • It was noted that the majority of employers use electronic reporting of TFN declarations because it is quicker.
  • Tracie Crowden thanked members and their networks for being a key leverage point for reaching the more than 800,000 employers so the ATO could communicate the design and mitigate problems in a short timeframe.
  • Project team is happy to get feedback or questions at link opens in a new window

COVID-19 Early Release of Super Recontribution

Neill Stromborg went through the data file naming convention outlined in the project team’s update. Key discussion points included:

  • The CSV file guide is being developed as part of the ATO’s IT solution and should be available early in the new year, non-mandatory fields will be covered.
  • Members noted their IT builds cannot be completed until the guide is available.
  • ATO is looking at developing a CRT Alert about the naming convention.

Neill Stromborg confirmed that one form can be used to cover multiple re-contributions to the same fund in one financial year. Key discussion points included:

  • Effective date of the form is the date the form is received by fund, not the declaration date.
  • The project team will be clear in communications about how this measure applies across financial years.
  • The date of the data file is the last day of the month the file covers, for example, 20211031. Nil returns are not required if no recontribution forms have been lodged in the month.

Fund engagement updates

Shane Moore provided an update on SuperMatch. Key messages included:

  • Fifty four funds have been reconnected since 1 September 2020 and another four applications are being reviewed.
  • Three SuperMatch Alerts have been issued providing actionable intelligence for users of the service, with these alerts covering common mobile numbers. Funds should be watching for and apply safeguards to protect both their members information and superannuation.
  • ATO has started to see large number of repeat calls to SuperMatch on the same day for the same TFN from the same fund.
    • ATO will contact any identified fund as this happens.

Bill Korras thanked funds for their assistance in implementing the new Super Enquiry Service. A Super News article will be published this week about enhancements to the Service.

Post meeting note – Best practice tips when using the super enquiry service Super News article was published.

Contact Bill Korras or Super Enquiry Service if there are any further suggestions. Sue Pearce gave sincere thanks for this significant improvement.

Staging Accounts and Rollover Fraud

Shane Moore provided an overview of an emerging risk with staging accounts and SAG members contributed to the discussion. Key points included:

  • ATO is aware of accounts being opened online that are not receiving contributions or transactions. This emerging risk results in accounts reported to the ATO through Member account attribute service becoming viewable on ATO online, that is, this could be a means to legitimise personal data or establish accounts for future fraud activities.
  • Cybercrime is not an issue that will go away, and rigour should be used to protect data and member interests.
  • It was noted that member details can be changed either online, via call centre or paper with staging accounts being used as the front end of criminal behaviour and linking to rollovers as the back end.
  • Funds may want to consider this paper within their risk areas and provide any feedback to FSE Governance mailboxThis link opens in a new window.

Other business and close

Sue Pearce noted that it had been a very busy 2021 and wants to take stock in 2022 of processes that could be enhanced.

Belinda Black said she would get back to the group if there are industry-wide delays with USM outcome response messages.

Post meeting note – ATO can confirm the USM outcome response message issue was impacting only one Gateway and a small number of funds. The issue has been resolved and the ATO is now working with the Gateway and funds to remediate the impacted messages.

Tracie Crowden thanked members for their attendance and contributions.