There are some major changes brewing that pleasantly are likely to improve the superannuation system as a whole. These changes are known as SuperStream and will impact on SMSFs and all APRA regulated super funds.
By way of background – SuperStream is a government initiative and package of measures designed to bring the back office of superannuation into the 21st century. Its key components are the increased use of technology, uniform data standards, use of the tax file number as a key identifier and the straight through processing of superannuation transactions. Put simply, superannuation is going paperless.
From 1 July 2014
Employers that have in excess of 19 staff will be required to automate the superannuation payment process with employee providers.
This is a relatively straight forward process for employees with APRA regulated funds as most payroll offices can set this up.
This process is more difficult for SMSF trustees.
SMSF members who accept employer contributions will need to provide their employer:
-       Fund names
-       Fund ABN
-       Fund bank details
-       Electronic service address
They will also need to appoint an ‘electronic gateway’ to receive the employer’s messages. Most SMSFs utilise the services of an Accountant to prepare the financial statements, record contributions and all transactions for a fund and lodge the annual return. For the majority, the SMSF provider can provide an electronic service address.
If the Accountant isn’t using SMSF specific software, they will not be able to facilitate this and trustees should seek alternatives to this as soon as possible.
Deadline for key Actions
If you work for a firm with 20 or more employees – your deadline to provide your electronic service address is 31 May 2014.
If you work for a firm with 19 or less employees – your deadline will be 31 May 2015.
Where to from here?
The ATO will be writing to SMSF trustees this week. To find out more, please contact your Accountant or feel free to contact us.