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Still paying super by cheque? Time to get digital

SuperDigital

Are you still paying your employees’ super contributions manually via cheque, EFT or BPAY directly to funds? If so, it’s likely you aren’t compliant with the new, compulsory standard for paying super – SuperStream.

As part of SuperStream, you need to pay and report your employees’ superannuation contributions electronically; allowing payments to be tracked and ensuring contributions are making it to the right place.

The benefit is, if you pay super to multiple funds, SuperStream simplifies this process by allowing you to pay and report all your contributions in one transaction, with the super contributions automatically transferred to each of your employees’ individual super funds.

Most importantly, SuperStream is compulsory – all businesses must pay their employee’s super using this standard.

More than 450,000 small businesses have already started paying their contributions electronically via SuperStream, meaning more than 10.5 million employees are receiving their superannuation guarantee payments quicker than ever.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) extended the deadline for small businesses yet to start paying their super via a SuperStream compliant solution to 28 October, meaning time is running out to find, and use, a SuperStream solution.

How to know if you are SuperStream compliant?

If you are currently paying super through a default super fund or clearing house, it’s more than likely you are already SuperStream compliant. If you pay super through your payroll software, you’ll need to check the version you are using is SuperStream compliant and the ATO has a handy site to check: www.softwaredevelopers.ato.gov.au/SuperStream-certifiedproductregister.

The same goes if someone looks after your super payments for you, like an accountant or bookkeeper, it’s likely you are compliant but it’s best to speak with them to make sure.

If you are still paying via cheque or another manual method, you need to make the switch to a SuperStream solution soon to ensure you are ready by 28 October.  If you are making payments directly into super fund accounts by EFT or BPAY it is likely you are not yet SuperStream compliant and you should speak to your super fund to find out if you need to do anything more.

How to start paying with SuperStream?

Setting up SuperStream is a one-off task and allows all future payment cycles to be completed in one transaction.

If you aren’t sure how to become compliant, there are a few ways to go about it:

  • Step 1: Choose an option
    • A payroll system that meets SuperStream standard
    • Your super fund’s online system
    • A super clearing house
  • Step 2: Collect information and update records
  • Step 3: Start using SuperStream

If you aren’t sure what option is best for you, the ATO has created a handy decision tree to guide you through the process.

Making super simple

SuperStream is all about simplifying the superannuation system for employers and ensuring employees are receiving their super guarantee payments correctly and quickly.

The initial set up for SuperStream may take some time, but once implemented, your payment process will be more streamlined and simple if you pay to multiple funds.

For more help getting started, check out the ATO’s employer checklist.


About the author

James O’Halloran is the ATO Deputy Commissioner.