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ATO Hails Success Of SuperStream System

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

31 August 2017

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has said that 95 percent of superannuation payments are now made digitally.

The ATO has published a report on the five-year roll-out of the SuperStream system, which introduced a data and payment standard. Businesses must now pay superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions to superannuation funds using SuperStream, and employers can make all their contributions in a single transaction.

The ATO said that more than a million businesses now use SuperStream, including around 800,000 employers, 2,500 Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) funds, and 350,000 self-managed super funds (SMSFs).

ATO Deputy Commissioner James O'Halloran said: "SuperStream has fundamentally moved the previously manual process between funds and fund members to standardized 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."

He added: "There are estimated savings of AUD2.4bn (USD1.9bn) per year for fund members, with an estimated AUD800m in realised efficiencies for employers and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority funds."

According to the report, there has been an average 70 percent time saving for employers completing contributions. Superannuation members can now complete a rollover in three days, compared to an average of 45-60 days previously. There has also been a reduction in lost member accounts by nearly 90 percent in the last six years.

Approximately 17 million fewer cheques are handled each year by funds, and the straight-through processing rate on contributions is over 85 percent. The straight-through processing rate for rollovers is over 95 percent.

A total of AUD1.5bn has been invested in SuperStream across the 2012-2018 financial years. The cost has largely been borne by APRA funds, and by employers or their agents.

TAGS: tax | business | pensions | employees | Australia | tax authority | services

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