Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Following a five-year rollout, superannuation members are now receiving an estimated $2.4 billion per year in savings thanks to SuperStream. SuperStream is one of the largest ever changes to Australia’s financial system, with an estimated investment across the industry of $1.5 billion.
More than one million businesses have been involved in the rollout, with over 800,000 employers, over 200 APRA funds and approximately 350,000 self-managed superfunds now experiencing the benefits of SuperStream reforms.
The Australian Taxation Office has released a benefits report that shows 95 per cent of superannuation payments are now digital. This enables faster rollover of member’s monies from fund to fund and greater consolidation of accounts, which has led to a sustained drop in the number of lost accounts.
Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said: “SuperStream has fundamentally moved the previously manual process between funds and fund members to standardised electronic processing, across industry, with inbuilt security and efficiency savings for fund members. SuperStream now provides a modern platform for further efficiencies in the superannuation industry and the sharing of services from the ATO.”
The report identifies an improved employer experience due to simplified electronic processes resulting in super contributions from employers sent through a single channel. This reduces the average time employers spend processing superannuation contributions by 70 per cent.
“There are estimated savings of $2.4 billion per year for fund members, with an estimated $800 million in realised efficiencies for employers and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority funds,” O’Halloran said.
Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA) chief executive Martin Fahy said it was pleasing to see that the substantial investment made by the superannuation industry has resulted in profound and sustained benefits for employers and members.
Through the introduction of universal payment and data standards coupled with a better use of Tax File Numbers, superannuation fund members are now receiving their superannuation entitlements into their account faster. SuperStream also facilitates efficient consolidation of multiple superannuation accounts and provides greater transparency to members.
Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees chief executive Eva Scheerlinck said the contribution of SuperStream to a better superannuation system was enormous.
“The stronger protection of members’ savings through account consolidation and faster allocation of funds is real, sustained and substantial. SuperStream has built a base that we are continuing to work with the ATO on building a more efficient system,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
A key achievement has also been the formation of an industry governance body, the Gateway Network Governance Board, which oversees the performance of the digital gateway operators.
Related: How small businesses can assist their employees to get the most of their super