• SIAG Key Messages December 2014

    The Superannuation Industry Advisory Group (SIAG) met in Sydney on 15 December 2014 with Commissioner Chris Jordan in attendance and guest speakers from industry to speak about their SuperStream experience to date.

    Minutes of the 30 July 2014 meeting were accepted.

    Agenda Topics discussed included:

    • Commissioner of Taxation – Year in Review and future directions
    • SuperStream – three guest speakers, and SIAG member Pauline Vamos presented their views on the SuperStream experience so far from the perspective of their industry segment
    • Government Reviews - Treasury provided an update on the Government reviews
    • Report back from committees
      SIRN - update from previous meetings and involuntary superannuation account transfers (ISAT) protocol
    • SIAG year in review and forward agenda planning- This item will be carried forward due to time constraints. Members are invited to put forward suggestions to the SIAG secretariat out of session.

    Commissioner of Taxation

    Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan provided his thoughts on the ATO year in review and noted changes and achievements of the ATO in 2014.

    Key focus /achievements for the ATO over 2014 included:

    • A move in the ATO to design forms, processes and correspondence for the majority of clients (rather than the minority who do the wrong thing) and reduce red tape
    • Encouragement of willing participation through building confidence in the integrity of the system and systems that make it easy to comply
    • New apps/web products – including SMSF Assist
    • Greater use of alternative dispute resolution
    • Up-front and early engagement with clients
    • Integration of SuperSeeker into myGov – resulting in a significant increase in account consolidations
    • SuperStream (the new data and payment standard, affecting over 850,000 employers, 3,000 APRA funds, and 250,000 self-managed superannuation funds) went live with first contributions for medium to large employers under the new standard successfully processed in early August 2014.
    • Employer and fund services including SuperTick and EmployerTick
    • Contributed $317.8 Million reduction to Government’s red tape reduction efforts.
    • Review of the ATO website (currently underway)
    • New consultation arrangements, including SIAG and NTLG to allow open dialogue in a safe environment.


    Three guest speakers, Emma Dobson, Westpac; David Kerr, Australian Administration Services (AAS); John Finnin, MYOB and SIAG member Pauline Vamos, ASFA presented their views on the SuperStream experience so far from the perspective of their industry segment.

    Key issues and challenges for SuperStream raised include:

    • SuperStream implementation is a long process but the journey is justified by the potential benefits
    • the industry can work together, but needs to be open on issues and resolutions for it to work
    • straight through processing rates are lower than expected due to data issues – there is a greater than expected number of members where core data (address, DOB, TFN etc) is not provided
    • despite being certified there are a significantly lower number of employer service providers sending SuperStream transactions which is impacting productivity savings
    • even with limited transaction volumes and reduced data, it is clear it will be a more efficient solution versus existing paper based channels

    There are many challenges faced by participants with over one million entities impacted. Key challenges include:

    • measuring the success and cost reductions, long term governance and fully integrated systems
    • onboarding of large and then small employers – significant investment and innovative approaches will be needed with 40% of the small/medium market not using software
    • bank account verification is an issue with the system relying on employees to provide correct data
    • more competition is needed for gateways and governance is critical and will be a challenge
    • Significant delays in SMSF Rollovers – APRA funds have gone to full manual system causing delays.

    Philip Hind, ATO, (National Program Manager, Data Standards and E Commerce) spoke to the tabled SuperStream Implementation presentation outlining key achievements and the upcoming program of work.

    Philip also discussed the Contribution Implementation Strategy outlining its focus on progressive waves, while fostering bridging solutions and providing timely support.

    The key challenges outlined by Philip for the next two years until a stable and sustainable implementation has been achieved included:

    • ramping up the remaining APRA funds and key solution providers that form the core of the change
    • bedding down the new processes between employers and funds
    • reaching out to small business with ‘low capability’ to make the change
    • establishing the long-term governance arrangements for gateway stewardship
    • connecting with and responding to new change initiatives that build on the capability of SuperStream (e.g. single touch payroll, new payments solutions).

    The ATO will organise a teleconference with a subset of the SIAG to confirm the key issues and agree on a way forward.

    Government Reviews

    Paul Tilley, Treasury provided an update on the Government reviews currently underway.

    Submissions on the Financial Services Review (FSI) and the Tax White Paper will be due by the end of March 2015. The Tax White Paper will deal with tax issues raised in the FSI, and the FSI will deal with regulatory issues.

    Treasury will use the SIAG to support the consultation process for the two reviews.

    Treasury noted that the new Secretary to the Treasury is due to start on 15 January 2015.

    Committee Updates

    Superannuation Industry Relationship Network (SIRN)

    Karen Foat, ATO noted an update of SIRN activity over recent months including the reducing red tape and regulation work from the February 18 SIRN which was provided to members in a paper. Karen also noted consultation undertaken with the SIRN on 16 September and 20 October regarding how the ATO may be able to improve the future client experience for APRA funds, SMSFs and associated intermediaries. Feedback is currently being analysed and findings and future directions will be shared at the SIRN and SIAG in the new year.

    John Shepherd, ATO spoke briefly the Involuntary Superannuation Account Transfer (ISAT) protocol which was provided to members in a paper.

    Other business

    Alison Lendon noted the proposed dates for SIAG meetings in 2015 and asked members to advise the secretariat if there are any issues with these dates.

    Proposed dates are:

    • Tuesday 17 March (Melbourne)
    • Wednesday 12 August (Sydney)
    • Wednesday 30 November (Sydney)

    Action Items

    Action Item 15122014-1

    The committee raised concerns around the authentication process for agents acting on behalf of clients such as legal representatives and tax agents. The ATO will look at the process to see if improvements can be made to the process and timeframe associated with authorisations to act for clients.

    Action Item: 15122014-2

    Dianne Tate ABA will send through an example of their authentication form.

    Action Item: 15122014-3

    Some concerns were raised about Superannuation Guarantee (SG) compliance and funds reluctance to go to the ATO with suspected compliance issues. The ATO will work with key industry representatives on ways to improve SG compliance.

    Action Item: 15122014-4

    Following the SuperStream conversation the ATO agreed to organise a teleconference with a subset of the SIAG to confirm the key issues and agree on a way forward.


    Australian Taxation Office





    Alison Lendon, Deputy Commissioner, Superannuation (Chair)

    Chris Jordan, Commissioner of Taxation

    Philip Hind, Deputy Commissioner, Superannuation

    John Shepherd, Assistant Commissioner, Superannuation

    Karen Foat, A/g Assistant Commissioner, Superannuation

    Alex Powell (Secretariat)


    Paul Tilley

    David Crawford

    Jerome Davidson

    Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

    Greg Brunner

    Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)

    Alex Purvis

    Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA)

    Diane Tate

    Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

    Dick Grozier

    Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST)

    David Haynes

    Association of Super Funds Australia (ASFA)

    Pauline Vamos

    CPA Australia

    Michael Davison

    Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA)

    Dante De Gori

    Chartered Accountants Australia (CA)

    Liz Westover

    Industry Super Australia (ISA)

    David Whiteley

    Law Council of Australia

    Suzanne MacKenzie


    David Knox

    SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA)

    Andrea Slattery

    Guest Attendees Industry


    Emma Dobson


    John Finnin


    David Kerr


    Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST)

    Tom Garcia

    Financial Services Council (FSC)

    Andrew Bragg

    CPA Australia

    Alex Malley

    Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

    Helen Rowell

    Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)

    Gerard Fitzpatrick


    Melinda Howes (tentative)

    Financial Planning Association

    Mark Rantall

      Last modified: 03 Jun 2015QC 45433