Are you an employer? Are you SuperStream ready? If you have less than 19 employees, the deadline is fast approaching – you only have until 30 June 2016 to be compliant. (If you have 20 or more employees your deadline was 31 October 2015.)
SuperStream is a standard for processing superannuation data and payments electronically so that it can be transmitted consistently between employers, funds, service providers and the ATO.
So what do you need to do? The ATO has released a raft of information to assist employers with their requirements. Click here to download their step-by-step guide. There are also videos and other information available on their website.
But in practical terms, what should you be doing?
The easiest way to ensure that you are SuperStream compliant is to use the functionality in your bookkeeping software. We’ve just set it up for our own internal MYOB Accountright file – and not only does it mean that we are complying – it will also save us heaps of time in processing super payments each month. Once it is set up, super can literally be paid by a click of a button! No more having to log on to various superannuation fund employer websites or BPay everyone individually – super is now paid in one simple step! (We’re a bit excited by this, can you tell?) The other software providers all have similar functionality so no matter what software you use, this would be the simplest solution. (If your existing software doesn’t have this functionality, now would be a great time to upgrade. You might find the time savings for you more than cover the monthly fee – not to mention all of the other benefits available.)
Another alternative is to register for a super clearing house – the ATO has a Small Business Superannuation Clearing House where you can make a single electronic payment that is distributed to your employee’s super funds. Many of the other superannuation funds also offer this service.
You can also register for an employer online account with many superannuation funds – but please check with each superannuation fund individually as not all may meet the requirements.
A couple of other things to note:
- You BPay the contributions – so that is considered electronic right? Not necessarily so. Again, this might be ok for some funds – but not all. You will need to contact the relevant fund to find out whether this is an acceptable method of payment – and each one may be different.
- If you are using a clearing house or your software, you may need to allow up to 2 weeks for the individual funds to receive the contributions. This means that you can’t leave it until the last minute to make payments – if the contributions haven’t reached the super fund by the due date then you will not meet your obligations and may have to pay the SG Surcharge.
- You might want to consider paying your super obligations either monthly or even with each pay period to ensure that you don’t inadvertently miss the quarterly deadlines.
- If you are using your bookkeeping software and you need to register a super payment limit, make sure that you take into consideration factors such as an extra pay in the period or employees salary sacrifice arrangements – we would suggest adding a buffer to your usual super payment amounts as a contingency.
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss your options, please don’t hesitate to contact your accountant.