A release authority is sent to super funds to authorise the release of a member's superannuation.
SuperStream has been extended to allow certain release authorities to be issued to super funds electronically via the SuperStream rollover message.
This includes the following release authorities:
- Excess Concessional Contributions (ECC)
- Excess Non-Concessional Contributions (ENCC)
- Excess Non-Concessional Contributions Tax
- Division 293 due and payable
- Division 293 deferred debt
- First home super saver scheme.
The Superannuation data and payment standards (standards) require trustees of both APRA-regulated super entities and self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) to comply with the standards.
This is in relation to a release authority issued on or after 31 March 2021 by the Commissioner of Taxation (the Commissioner) under Division 131 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA).
If you are a SMSF, refer to SuperStream rollovers and release authorities for SMSFs.
A trustee can receive a release authority message outside of the standards.
For example, if the Commissioner issued a paper release authority by mail and the trustee is not able to use SuperStream to respond to that release authority. The trustee needs to action the release authority and return the release authority statement (RAS) to us via paper.
Once the super fund receives a release authority message in SuperStream they must take action to process that release authority within the required time frame.
Super funds must, within 10 business days from the date of the release authority:
- electronically pay us the lesser of
- the amount stated in the release authority, or
- the total amount of the super interest that could be paid at the time
- send us a RAS message via SuperStream advising
- the amount that was released to us, and
- for partial releases, whether any super benefits remain in the account.
Paying the release authority
All payments must be made to our SuperStream bank account.
- Our SuperStream bank account details can be found on the Fund Validation Service (FVS). The FVS is accessed thought the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) framework, either via FVS-enabled software, or through your digital service provider.
- The data and money must be linked by a unique payment reference number (PRN). If there is no unique identifier, we cannot match the payment to your reported RAS.
- The PRN in the data message and payment must be identical (case and space sensitive). If they are not identical, we cannot allocate the payment.
- Our current SuperStream bank account details are:
- Bank – Reserve Bank of Australia
- BSB – 092-009
- Account – 12178-1
- Account name – Australian Taxation Office Official Administered Receipts SuperStream Account.
Members holding multiple accounts
Super fund trustees may choose to look to other accounts held by the member to pay the release authority where either the account nominated is closed or has an insufficient balance.
However, super funds must:
- respond to each release authority with a single RAS (and payment)
- adhere to the SuperStream message requirements and ensure the RAS is returned with the same data elements as the release authority.
Unable to action the release authority
If the trustees of SMSFs and APRA-regulated super entities cannot release any money, they must send us a release authority error response message with one of the following errors:
- member not found with supplied information, where the super fund does not have any record of the member identified in the release authority
- no longer a member of superannuation fund, where the super fund can identify the member, however they no longer have an open account
- release authority could not be processed due to rules within superfund, where the member has an open account, however the super fund is unable to release due to it being a defined benefit interest or non-commutable income stream
- the account for the provided member identifier has been closed, where the member has an open account, but the super fund is unable to release for any other reason (such as the account is recently opened with no balance, or subject to a court order).
Once we receive the RAS message from the super fund, we will provide a release authority statement outcome response (RASOR) to the super fund advising them the RAS was either successful or unsuccessful.
Where the fund receives a:
- RASOR – successful, we have processed the super fund RAS and no further action is required.
- RASOR – unsuccessful, we are unable to process the RAS because of either a validation issue in the message or unable to match to the member, account or product provided in the RAS message
- super funds are required to correct the error and resubmit the RAS message to us
- if the corrected message contains a different payment amount, the fund must send a new payment (using a new PRN) that matches the reported amount in the corrected message
- if the corrected message contains the same payment amount but with a new PRN please advise us of the old PRN and new PRN via the Super Enquiry Service. This will enable us to locate and process the initial payment received
- super funds will not have met their obligation to action the release authority within 10 business days until they have submitted a successful RAS
- we will not automatically refund the payment as part of the RASOR process
- APRA-regulated superannuation entities may request a refund by submitting a 'Member issue' request via the Super Enquiry Service
- SMSF trustees should direct enquiries to us via their authorised representative or calling 13 10 20.