Superstream – bringing super contributions into the digital age

Medium to large employers have a short time to go to comply with the new SuperStream requirements for superannuation contributions.

Under SuperStream, all employers will be required to make superannuation contributions for their employees electronically. The contribution data is sent electronically in a message format to the superannuation funds while the contribution payment is sent electronically through the banking system. The data message and payment are linked by a payment reference number, which enables reconciliation by the receiving fund.

Superstream is cutting red tape by making all superannuation payments electronic and introducing a standard way to pay contributions.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) claims SuperStream will improve the productivity of the superannuation system by introducing common data items, electronic communications, simpler channels and faster business processes for sending employer contributions. It will improve superannuation fund administration and make it easier for employers to satisfy their Superannuation Guarantee and other compulsory superannuation obligations.


Medium to large employers, that is, employers with 20 or more employees, have until 30 June 2015 to comply with the new requirements. However, the ATO has stated it will not be taking any compliance action against employers until 31 October 2015.

The ATO will be working closely with employers during this period by providing education and support.

Superstream commences for employers with less than 20 employees on 1 July 2015 with all employers having to comply before 30 June 2016.

There are a variety of options for employers to adopt SuperStream. These may include upgrading payroll software, using a clearinghouse or the default fund’s portal.

Employers should talk to their payroll suppliers or default superannuation fund to ensure they have a compliant solution in place in time.

Further details for employers are available on the ATO website

Self-managed superannuation funds

If your SMSF receives superannuation contributions from an employer for yourself or any other member it will have to be ready to accept an electronic message from medium to large employers by 30 June 2015 or from small employers by 30 June 2016.

To send contribution details to your SMSF, your employer will need your fund’s ABN, bank account and electronic service address. The electronic service address is different to a website address or an email address.

You can get an electronic service address through your SMSF provider or through a SMSF messaging provider.

The ATO has a list of SMSF messaging providers on its website.

If employees haven’t provided their fund details to their employer by the due date they may be asked to complete and return a superannuation standard choice form to their employer.

Read next: SuperStream changes and SMSFs

October 2021
October 2021

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