SuperStream Frequently Asked Questions

When will my SMSF recieve SuperStream Messages?

Unless the employer that is contributing to the SMSF is part of the ATO’s induction group, it is expected that SuperStream messages will commence being received via the SuperStream system from 3 November 2014. However, this is dependent upon the employer having implemented their SuperStream solution by this date. Medium to large employers have until 30 June 2015 to implement their SuperStream solution and whilst SMSFs only have until 3 November 2014 to be SuperStream ready, they will not receive any SuperStream messages until the employer(s), contributing to the SMSF, are themselves SuperStream ready.

How will I know that my SMSF has received a SuperStream message?

Where your fund is being administered by one of the 100s of accountants, SMSF administrators or planners using our SMSF administration software, SuperMate, that transaction’s information will automatically be added into your fund’s accounting details. As your fund has registered with SMSFflow, you will also receive an email from SMSFflow with all the contribution’s information. If your fund is not being administered using SuperMate, the email we send you will contain all the relevant information, which should be forwarded to your fund’s administrator for entry into their system.

Please note, funds that are administered on SuperMate are not required to be registered to receive SuperStream messages. The SuperMate user will receive notification of SuperStream messages being received, rather than the trustee(s). A separate notification can be sent to the trustee(s) by the SuperMate user if desired.

I have provided the ESA of “SuperMate” to my employer who has made an electronic contribution to my SMSF in July 2014. Why have I not received a SuperStream message?

The first SuperStream messages will not be sent until 4 August 2014 and only if your employer is part of the ATO’s induction group. During Phase 1 (1 July to 2 November 2014) whilst contribution messages are required to be sent electronically, it is expected that they will be in an electronic format that does not comply with the SuperStream format. These alternate electronic file formats will not be sent via the SuperStream system and consequently will not be received via SuperStream software solutions (that is, directly into our SuperMate software or via SMSFflow). You should contact your employer and ask them to send you the electronic message via email. This should be sent directly to your email address, not to SMSFflow. Where contribution details are received by SMSFflow by email from an employer (not in compliance with the SuperStream format) they will be returned to the employer to be provided to the SMSF trustee directly.

What is an acceptable alternative electronic file format for a contribution message during the phase 1 transition in period (1 July to 2 November 2014)?

For an SMSF this can be simply an email. Whilst this form of file format is acceptable during the phase 1 transition in period, as it is not SuperStream compliant it will not be sent via the SuperStream system and consequently not received via SuperStream Software solutions (that is, directly into our SuperMate software or via SMSFflow). The email will need to be sent directly by the employer to the SMSF trustee(s), not SMSFflow. Where contribution details are received by SMSFflow by email from an employer (not in compliance with the SuperStream format) they will be returned to the employer to be provided to the SMSF trustee directly.

Is there a new Standard Choice Form to be used by employees under SuperStream?

Yes, the new revised Standard Choice form is expected to be made available by the ATO at the end of July 2014. This form will have sections to complete depending upon whether the employee is accepting the nominated default fund or exercising choice and selecting an APRA fund or nominating an SMSF. Until the new revised Standard Choice form is made available the ATO has advised that you can continue to use the current form.

Are any employers or superannuation funds exempt from the new SuperStream standards?

Yes, where an SMSF only receives contributions from a “related employer”, as defined under the SIS Act, then the SMSF is not required to meet the standards. Also, the “related employer” is also not required to meet the standard in relation to contributions made to the related SMSF. Where the employer has unrelated employees, it must comply with the standard in respect of unrelated employees.

What is a “related employer”?

A Related Employer is defined similar to a Related Party of a SMSF, as per s10(1) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act (SIS Act). This includes:

Is the Electronic Service Address (ESA) for SuperMate case sensitive?

No. The ESA of “SuperMate” can be entered in any case combination and messages will still be directed to the correct Gateway and correct client’s email address.

I have looked up the SMSF Message Providers on the ATO’s website and “SuperMate” appears more than once, which one do I use?

The SMSF Message Provider register lists a number of providers who are using the Electronic Service Address (ESA) of “SuperMate”, including:

Where an employee is requested by their employer to select one of the providers, in addition to providing the ESA, then the employee should advise them to select the provider “SMSFflow” with the ESA of “SuperMate”.

SuperStream requires contributions made by employers to be electronic. What do I do if an employer contributes by way of cheque after 30 June 2014?

Whilst cheques are being phased out under SuperStream (except for contributions made by related employers to SMSFs) if a superannuation fund does receive a contribution by way of cheque then they should bank it as part of their superannuation guarantee obligations, rather than return it because the contribution was not made electronically. It will be up to the ATO to deal with the employer and why they are not complying with the electronic payment requirement.

As an Employer, I have not heard anything about SuperStream. How are employers being made aware of this new requirement?

The ATO has information on their web site, including videos & their own FAQs, covering employers who use payroll software or a payroll service. For this information, including a checklist for Employers to implement SuperStream, you can visit:

Further, in June 2014 the ATO did a mail out to all medium and large employers advising them of their requirement to be SuperStream ready. A further mail out to small employers is expected in late September 2014.

There will also be industry webinars conducted by the ATO. Employers should be notified of these specific industry webinars via their industry associations.

Why must the payment and message be sent on the same day? EFT/BPAY takes a day or so to show in the receiving bank account anyway.

The standard requires the payment and the message to be sent the same day. The ATO has acknowledged, in relation to the standard for rollovers between APRA regulated funds, that the payment may arrive a day or so after the message. The ATO further advises that "Bank settlement times will improve between now and 2016 as Reserve Bank of Australia sponsored reforms move the banking sector towards near real-time settlement. When that occurs, you will be able to expect to get SuperStream data and payments on the same day and possibly even close to the same time."

Does any of this information go to the ATO?

No - The ATO are referring to SuperStream as a "Business to Business" system, not "Business to Government". The ATO are regulating the SuperStream system, but will not be receiving any of the contribution messages.

What will the fund do if they receive a contribution message but no money is received in the fund's bank account?

The ATO has acknowledged that the payment may arrive a day or so after the message. They further advise that you don’t need to ask the sender where the payment is until a reasonable lag time has passed. Where there is still no contribution received by the fund, you can make contact with the employer to enquire. At a later stage there may also be the option for the fund to send a rejection message (part of Phase 3, commencing 2 February 2015), which would be sent to the relevant employer/message sender.