SIRN Co-design workshop Sep 2014

The Superannuation Industry Relationship Network (SIRN) recently hosted a
co-design workshop to review and explore the current reporting frameworks for superannuation fund (member) data. The network met in Canberra on 16 September 2014 with 26 attendees from The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) Industry and the ATO.

A summary of the topics discussed is provided below.


The purpose of the workshop was to discuss current and future reporting requirements for SuperStream contributions from a fund member reporting aspect, and to also identify issues and irritants within the current reporting frameworks.


The workshop actively discussed issues and irritants and were able to identify opportunities for improvement. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) provided valuable insight into the client experience of data transactions between industry, business and government.

The attached document provides an overview of the issues and irritants raised by the group.

Issues and irritants

The changes already implemented for SuperStream should be the foundation of any further changes

  • Any future changes need to leverage off the work and investment that has already occurred when implementing SuperStream business to business interactions

It is important to acknowledge that the ATO, among other important roles, is a service provider to industry

  • The ATO is now providing services that industry are required to use as part of the business to business SuperStream system. To ensure quality service delivery for these products, the ATO should:
    • Provide visibility and proactive communication of the availability of these services ie minimising and informing industry when the services will be unavailable
    • Notification to industry when errors are occurring or a method where industry can report errors. Funds are currently spending time reviewing their own systems or talking with other funds to determine if there is an error with the services
    • Make the complete transition from paper, or other solutions to the standards, to electronic ie SMSF service provider names
  • Ensure that the ATO understands it’s clients and tailors solutions for positive client experiences
    • Acknowledge that large and small APRA funds face different issues and should receive a tailored service accordingly
  • Funds want to be able to leverage ATO data holdings to confirm their own data holdings
  • Contacting the ATO and receiving information can be challenging
    • Funds don’t currently always know where/who to go to for advice or are unable to reach someone who understands their circumstances
    • The ATO seems to take 28+ days to respond to issues – funds seeking more real time assistance rather than ‘service standard’

Any change to existing systems needs to incorporate a value proposition to each stakeholder

  • The ATO need to assess stakeholder impacts before any changes are agreed upon
  • The ATO need to build a value proposition and get fund buy-in to bear the costs of any further changes

Using natural systems, sharing information and making better use of government data holdings are fundamental to an improved reporting process

  • Batch data reporting would ideally be eliminated to enable information to flow freely, constantly and in real time
    • It would be more efficient to have work triggered when members lodge their Income Tax Returns rather than waiting for batches of data reports. This could eliminate the peaks in processing
  • With better use of data holdings and simplified sharing between stakeholders, efficiencies could be gained by:
    • Funds and Individuals would be able to benefit from real time reporting. Ie if the ATO are informed about a member becoming lost the ATO could provide the fund with new information for that member. Real time reporting could also reduce the incidence of ATO held monies being sent back to funds for closed accounts. This would prevent reverse work flows
    • The need for a lost member report may be able to be removed
    • The ATO initiating rollover requests in instances where it can identify members who are now unclaimed and where the fund can use the rollover standards to inform and send monies to the ATO
    • Sometimes funds switch between an SMSF to a small APRA fund. By using real time data transfers, we could eliminate the chances of not identifying the correct fund type. What the ATO ‘sees’ and what APRA ‘know’ to be current is different, which means the ATO isn't able to provide appropriate assistance when a small APRA fund makes an enquiry or lodges returns

Any proposed changes need to be clearly and timely communicated so that implementation plans can be developed

Co-design will enable development of more streamlined and efficient reporting processes

Improved authentication and registration processes, e.g. when Small APRA Fund Administrators are establishing new funds


The Industry provided feedback and the ATO will now co-design with Industry a new approach to improve the user experience and closely align with the principles of the ATO’s reinvention strategy.

Meeting closed 1.30pm.


Sky May (facilitator)


Nicole Dykstra


John Shepherd


Philip Hind


Karen Foat


Louise Elliott


Ian Colhoun


Tracie Crowden


Katie Hoskins


Ricardo Coburn


Mark Napier


Catherine Barrett/Alex Powell (secretariat)


Brant Pridmore


Paul Beohm


Greg Brunner


Ian Roberts

Australian Bankers Association (ABA)

John Kennedy

CBA Group

Robina Richards


Sarah O’Brien

Colonial First State

Robert Hodge


Hans Van Daatselaar


Melinda White

Financial Synergy

David McKeown


Trevor Govender


Julie Steed

Australian Executor Trustees

Kelly Kerr

BT Financial Group

Michael Crome

Q Super

    Last modified: 17 Nov 2014QC 43137