Are You Ready For Superstream?

“What is SuperStream?” We hear you ask.

“What about an Electronic Service Address? What does that mean for me?”

“USI? What USI?”

No, a SuperStream isn’t a great salmon fishing ground. And no, we’re not suggesting death by acronym. If you’re running a small business with employees, we’re about to make answering these questions easier.

Take a walk through SuperStream with The Orbit Group!

SuperStream is a nifty new(ish) product from the ATO. SuperStream is the new way for employers to make super contributions for their staff. It’s electronic, easy to use and designed to make your life as a small business owner easier.

If you use a payroll software package, you’ll need to to check that it’s SuperStream compliant. The good news is that our favourite, Xero, is compliant. And has been for some time. Yay!

If you’re not using payroll software, you can take advantage of a Clearing House to get the job done.

The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is a free government service. It allows employees with less than 19 employees to make super contributions as a single payment. The Clearing House then distribute the payments to each employees own fund. This should significantly reduce the time spent sending multiple payments to different funds. Plus it removes the need to fill out endless contribution forms.

The ATO has put this handy document together on the Small Business Clearing House if you want more info. And of course we’re available for some advice if you can already feel the steam coming from your ears.

So does SuperStream apply to you?

Short answer is yes. If you employ people, it is compulsory for all employers to have SuperStream. That includes you, too.

When does SuperStream start?

For employers with over 19 staff, the SuperStream superannuation contribution scheme started on 1 July 2014 and the deadline was extended to 31 October 2015. But don’t freak out. If you aren’t already signed up to the program, you can contact the ATO for advice and direction.

For those with 19 or fewer employees, have some leeway to get things in order. SuperStream started on 1 July 2015 and you have until 30 June 2016 to make sure you’re on top of things and compliant.

How do I get ready for SuperStream?

Great question! While all things tax related (especially new concepts) may seem a little daunting, we’ve got your back.

Steps to SuperStream happiness include:

  • Checking your accounting software is compliant
  • If it’s not, check out the free Super Clearing Houses we mentioned before
  • Panic. We’re kidding. Pick up the phone, punch in (02) 9314 2025 and one of the friendly The Orbit Group team will talk you through it.

Remember USI and ESA from the start of this article? Well, once you have your SuperStream solution in place, it is time to start collecting your employees USI or ESA.

What is an USI (Unique Superannuation Identifier)?

As the name suggests, an USI (Unique Superannuation Identifier) is a specific number that identifies each super fund. It ensures that your employee’s contributions find themselves in the right place.

For example: If your employees have their super with AMP, then they would need to provide you with the USI for their specific AMP super product.

The USI is usually displayed on an employee’s Super statement or the super fund’s website. If in doubt, direct your employee to contact the super fund’s customer service team.

What is an ESA (Electronic Service Address)?

An ESA (Electronic Service Address) is like an USI. An ESA acts as an identifier for your employees who have an SMSF (Self Managed Superannuation Funds).

Employees with an SMSF should provide you with an Electronic Service Address letter. This letter will explain where the SMSF contributions should be deposited.

Your employee can chat to their accountant about obtaining this letter. Or by setting up an Electronic Service Address from another provider like Australia Post or Click Super.

You get more info on the finer points related to SMSF and SuperStream on the ATO website.

What are the benefits of SuperStream to employers?

The introduction of SuperStream is about making super contributions for your employees simpler. It’s also about ensuring super contributions made to employees are more consistent and easier to manage. And it’s about taking out the complexity through providing you an easy, electronic way to get the super contributions done.

Once you have got your head around the changes, the potential time and cost savings are actually quite significant. The ATO has some great information about SuperStream.

And as always, The Orbit Group is available to answer any questions you may have. Happy SuperStream everyone!