We start off the New Year with a very significant blog on an issue that will fundamentally affect every stakeholder to the superannuation industry from employer to fund – SuperStream.
SuperStream is simply the name for one aspect of Standard Business Reporting (SBR) programs between governments and businesses. The key objectives of SBR include reduced time and effort spent preparing and filing reports for governments by businesses. A number of governments around the world collaborate on this. The web message standards (SOAP), data structures or taxonomy (XBRC) and procedures are mandated.
By July 2012 we should have the ATO online facility for members and be able to view (with their fund’s consent) active and lost super accounts. By July 2013 APRA regulated funds and SMSFs must use the new standards for processing rollovers and accepting employer contributions. By July 2014 these data standards and use of e-commerce become mandatory for large and medium employers. A year later, this is extended to small employers. There are provisions for reporting of member contributions, auto-consolidation of accounts and registration of new members.
This is going to require considerable changes for all participants. Employers will need to use the new technology to register members, send contribution messages and make payments. They will need to acquire the capacity to make electronic payments and submit messages in the mandated format. Some employers will use a clearing house. The payments will be via the Bulk Electronic Clearing System (BECS) or via BPAY. A fund could register with BPAY and issue the contribution provider with a Biller Code and a customer reference number.
We are on the edge of having the technical specifications for the new system. This is a fundamental core change to how the superannuation industry works. How this works out at a commercial and operational level is far from clear – especially from a SMSF perspective. This will be one of the areas that NetActuary will be closely monitoring and researching.
The NetActuary Team