ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Release authorities – problem solving for SuperStream users

Help for funds to avoid errors and processing delays when actioning release authorities received via SuperStream.

Last updated 1 April 2024

Using payment reference numbers

Correct use of payment reference numbers (PRN) on release authority statement (RAS) messages and payments is critical for ensuring:

  • we successfully receive and process the RAS and associated payment
  • payment is received and allocated to the member's account in a timely manner
  • the payer defined PRN used on the payment and the RAS message is:
    • identical, noting the PRN is case-sensitive
    • unique for the sender within a 12-month period.

Managing release authority statement outcome responses

Release authority statement outcome response (RASOR) messages are generated to notify the Trustee that their RAS message was successfully received and processed by us.

If the trustee received a successful RASOR, no further action is required.

If the trustee received an unsuccessful RASOR, they must:

  • identify and correct the error
  • generate a new RAS message
  • send us the corrected RAS message, with payment if applicable.

If the corrected RAS message contains a different payment amount, funds must:

  • send a new payment using a new PRN on the new RAS payment, and
  • ensure the payment amount matches the reported amount in the corrected message.

Failure to do so can have direct financial impacts for your members.

If the correction requires the trustee to get a refund, they need to contact us.

A RASOR is not issued when a release authority error response (RAER) is lodged. The trustee may refer to a successful technical receipt as confirmation that the RAER has been received and processed.

Trustees not confirming that lodgments have been accepted

When you receive a release authority (RA) from us via SuperStream:

  • you have 10 business days from the date of issue of the RA to respond
  • ensure your lodgment has been accepted within this timeframe, as penalties may apply for late lodgments.

The following information will assist funds in ensuring their RAS and RAER messages are successfully received within the 10-day time frame for:

  • RAER messages, use the technical receipt as confirmation of your lodgment
  • RASOR unsuccessful – if your RAS message has not been processed due to errors and your lodgment has not been accepted, you must correct these errors
  • RASOR successful –-this is confirmation of your successful lodgment and is typically received within minutes of you sending your RAS to us.

If you (or your gateway) haven't received a RASOR within 72 hours, you can contact us.

Note: Super funds do not meet their obligation to action the RA until they have submitted a successful RAS, as confirmed by a RASOR received from us with code SUPER.GEN.RLVR.2.

For more information, see Rollover v3 user guideThis link will download a file or contact the Super Enquiry Service for assistance.

Releasing from multiple member accounts

A fund may receive a RA for an account that doesn't have sufficient money to release the full amount owed.

If the fund holds additional accounts for the same member with more funds, it must aggregate amounts available for release from all accounts held by the member up to the amount specified in the RA.

When a fund chooses to release amounts from multiple accounts, they must:

  • aggregate the amounts into a single payment
  • return the aggregated payment under a single RAS
  • ensure the account identifiers provided on the RAS match those stated on the RA.

Funds must not:

  • make multiple payments for a single RA
  • change the member account number or unique superannuation identifier (USI) when lodging the RAS if released from a different account than the one on the RA.

For more information, see Rollover v3.0 User GuideThis link will download a file.

Common SuperStream lodgment issues

We have identified common issues with SuperStream lodgments and provided the following scenarios to help you get your lodgements correct and ensure payments can be processed.

We can’t process your message and payments can't be allocated to the member, if you return the RAS with a different:

  • USI or
  • member account number.

If you have incorrectly actioned an unsuccessful RASOR message:

  • payments can't be allocated to the member until a successful message is received
  • you are required to correct and relodge unsuccessful RAS messages.

Trustees making a RA payment using a different PRN than in the RAS response:

  • will cause significant delays to the member who is receiving the funds
  • must contact us and include the:
    • ATO reference id
    • payment PRN
    • successful RAS message PRN.

We will respond to a RA with an incorrect nil response RAER, including not releasing money with respect to an RA (where it is not a defined benefit interest), if:

  • a RAER has been incorrectly lodged instead of a RAS, it can result in:
    • adverse tax outcomes for members, including incorrect assessments for additional tax
    • the ability of the member to release from the specified account in the future
    • a notification to the member of a nil release –the member will need to decide how to proceed
  • we are unable to re-trigger an RA where an incorrect RAER has been lodged.

Respond using a release authority statement

When using a release authority statement (RAS) to respond to a release authority (RA) ensure that the following information matches:

  • the ATO reference ID
  • the USI and ABN
  • member account number
  • the member's tax file number (TFN)
  • product and year.

If a scenario arises where superfunds opt to release amounts from alternative or multiple accounts other than the account stated on the RA, you must:

  • return a single payment, and
  • ensure information provided on the RAS (detailed above) matches the RA.

When releasing funds and lodging a RAS you must:

  • release the total amount stated in the release authority, including the
    • maximum available release amount for each superannuation interest that you hold for the member and
    • amounts in retirement phase (where it is not a defined benefit interest or non-commutable income stream)
  • return these under a single RAS (with a single associated payment)
  • ensure the account identifiers on the RAS match that on the RA
  • ensure that for partial releases, the remaining benefit indicator value should be correctly reported on the RAS.

Funds must not:

  • make multiple payments to a single RA
  • change the member account number or USI when lodging the RAS, if an amount was released from a different account than the one specified on the RA.

We recommend funds check their systems and processes to avoid duplicate or incorrect payments sent for RAs. This can result in member refunds which is illegal early access to super.

If the fund is unable to release any money in response to a RA a RAER message must be sent, including the correct code, on page 18 – section 3.5.11 in the Rollover v3 user guideThis link will download a file.

If a RAER is sent in error:

  • do not send a RAS and corresponding payment
  • check for a RASOR from us prior to sending any additional RASs.

Correspondence may issue to the member advising of an unsuccessful release and whether they can re-elect to release the amount in question.

How to ensure payments can be processed

So that release authority payments can be processed in a timely manner, ensure:

  • all SuperStream RAS payments are made to the ATO SuperStream bank account. For more information, see paying release authorities
  • all paper RAS payments are made using other payment options, not the SuperStream bank account
  • you use the same PRN on the RAS payment and data message including, uppercase, lowercase, special characters and spaces
  • you use one PRN with one payment (not across multiple messages or payments) and only use it once within a 12-month period
  • you send a RAS with a payment
  • you do not send a payment where a RAER has been lodged.

Where a payment and message PRN do not match, you must advise us by submitting an SES, so we can manually remediate.

For more information or assistance with release authorities, see Super Enquiry Service for APRA funds.