SuperStream is the way all employers must pay employee superannuation guarantee contributions to super funds. With SuperStream, money and data are sent electronically in a standard format.
Your employee super information is linked to your super contributions by a unique payment reference number (PRN).
This means you can make all your super contributions in a single transaction, even if the payments are going to multiple super funds.
If the only contributions you make are personal contributions for yourself or contributions to a related self-managed super fund (SMSF), you don't need to use SuperStream because these are excepted contributions.
Keeping your employee information safe
All SuperStream communications:
- are encrypted
- use sending and receiving protocols that all parties must follow.
Employee information security is important and starts with you, and all your dealings in the super system. This means you should:
- apply security best practices when personal information is stored in payroll solutions or sent over the internet
- make sure any service providers you use have strong information security policies, and terms and conditions.
In just 3 simple steps, you can meet SuperStream requirements.
Step 1: Choose an option
To meet SuperStream requirements, you can use the following electronic options:
- Payroll system
- Super fund online system
- Super clearing house
- Small Business Superannuation Clearing House
- EFT or BPAY direct to the fund
- Messaging portal
You can also ask your accountant or bookkeeper to help you with one of these options.
Check with your software provider to ensure your payroll system is SuperStream-compliant. You may need to update your software.
You can also use the SuperStream Certified Product RegisterExternal Link to check if your software is compliant.
Some payroll systems cover data and payments, and some are data only. This means you may need to make payments to each fund separately. The payment must be electronic (electronic funds transfer or BPAY®).
Large super funds have online payment services you can use. Check with your super fund to ensure it is SuperStream compliant.
A clearing house pays super to your employees' super funds for you. You send a single electronic payment to the clearing house with all your employees' super contribution data, and the clearing house does the rest.
You can use the free Small Business Superannuation Clearing House if you have either:
- 19 or fewer employees
- a turnover of less than $10 million a year.
You can also choose to use:
- other commercial clearing house options
- your super fund's clearing house.
Talk to your super fund to see what they offer.
The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (the clearing house) is a free service you can use if you are a business with either:
- 19 or fewer employees
- an annual aggregated turnover of less than $10 million.
You make your super guarantee contributions for all employees as a single electronic payment to the clearing house. The clearing house will then distribute the payments to each employee's super fund.
Even if you outsource some parts of making super contributions, you're still responsible for ensuring your employees' super contributions are paid correctly.
The clearing house is accessed via the ATO's Online services for business, Online services for agents or ATO online services in myGov.
If you pay directly to a super fund with EFT (direct credit or direct debit) or BPAY, you must also send the employees information electronically (not by email).
Direct contributions can only continue with special agreement from each of your super funds.
Contact your fund to see if direct contributions can continue or if any changes are required.
If you can continue paying direct to the fund, you can also use a messaging portal for the electronic information requirements. A messaging portal will generate reference numbers to use in your online banking.
A messaging portal can convert contribution data 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.
Talk to your messaging portal provider and financial institution about your options.
Step 2: Collect employee information
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. You can look these up through:
- Super Fund LookupExternal Link – USI and product names
- SuperStream – Fund USI and SPIN lookup tableExternal Link
You can also use the online service, EmployerTICK, to validate employee details. For more information on the service, see the EmployerTICK user guide.
Employees with SMSFs
If your employees have an SMSF, you'll need the following 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 wants you to contribute to their SMSF, provide them with a standard choice form and ask them to return it to you within 28 days. If you don’t receive the information you may make the contributions to your default fund.
If you're paying your own super contributions to your own SMSF, you don't need this information for these contributions.
Step 3: Paying with SuperStream
You must send the payment and data on the same day. This lets the super fund match your payment and information and allocate the contribution to the fund member's account.
If you use a commercial clearing house, the employee's super contribution is counted as being paid on the date the super fund receives it, not the date the clearing house receives it from you. Check with your clearing house to make sure you allow enough time for your payments to be processed before the quarterly due dates.
If you use our Small Business Superannuation Clearing House, your super obligations are met on the date the clearing house accepts the payment (so long as the super fund doesn't reject the payment). This is because the clearing house is an approved clearing house under government regulations.
If you don't have 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:
- enter your 8 or 9-digit WPN into the WPN field without any leading zeros, if you are registering for the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House
- add leading zeros when providing your WPN, if you are paying contributions directly to super funds.