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SuperStream: guide for businesses

What's SuperStream?

SuperStream is an electronic payment system that Aussie employers use to make superannuation payments. If you have employees, you must register for SuperStream.

How does SuperStream work?

SuperStream-compliant providers and clearing houses assign a unique payment reference number (PRN) to each payment to ensure the proper routing of each payment and allow employers to make all super payments in a single transaction.

How do I comply with SuperStream requirements?

Determine whether you’re obligated to pay super 

If you have employees, you’ll likely have to pay super. The only exception is that you don’t need to pay super for an employee who is younger than 18 and works less than 30 hours a week. 

Collect and validate employee information

To manage your super contributions for employees, you’ll need their tax file number, full given name, date of birth and super fund details. The ATO recommends validating this information.

Offer employees a choice of super

Super choice form

Employers must give eligible employees a standard super choice form within 28 days of their hiring date. Employees may request a super choice form at any time, although employers don’t need to accept a super choice form more than once per year. 

Stapled funds information

A stapled fund is an existing super fund that’s linked to workers and follows them throughout their careers, unless they choose otherwise. If employees don’t specify their super choice, pay into their stapled fund if they have one, their prescribed fund if their Award or Enterprise Bargaining Agreement nominates one, or into your default option if neither scenario applies. 

Know how you’ll calculate super

As of September 2022, the minimum super contribution amount for employers was 10.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings (OTE). That amount will increase gradually to 12% by 2025.

If you have a handful of employees, calculating super should be easy. However, as you take on additional staff it may be time to invest in a payroll system to do your super and other payroll calculations for you.

Choose an electronic payment method

Automate payments with payroll software

If you use modern, SuperStream-compliant payroll software, you can automate your SuperStream payments and never have to worry about missing a payment deadline. 

ATO clearing house for SMBs

Businesses with no more than 19 employees and an annual aggregated turnover under $10 million may use the ATO’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House to pay super. 

After you provide instructions on the allocation of each employee’s funds, you’ll pay your total contributions to the ATO clearing house, and the clearing house will distribute the funds accordingly. The ATO considers your super contributions “paid” on the date the ATO clearing house receives them.  

Other clearing houses

If you want to use a SuperStream clearing house to make super payments but don’t qualify for the ATO’s free service, you’ll need to find a clearing house company. These businesses charge a nominal fee for each super payment.

Note that when making payments to a commercial clearing house, you need to allow time for payment processing — super funds won’t mark a contribution as paid until they receive it from the clearing house. 

Make direct payments to the super fund

You may be able to make online payments directly to a super fund, if it’s one of the larger funds and SuperStream compliant. 

Outsource to a payroll provider

If you’re already outsourcing payroll, it may make sense to check your provider is SuperStream compliant and have them handle your super payments (although that service may require additional fees). 

Benefits of SuperStream compliance

MYOB’s accounting software comes with SuperStream compliance built in, so you can:

  • Make all super contributions with one payment

  • Save time with automated payment processing

  • Validate employee data to prevent data-mismatch errors

  • Quickly produce audit-ready proof of timely super contributions

With MYOB, it’s easier than ever to meet your super obligations. This gives you back the time to focus on what’s most important: building your business.

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