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The ATO’s SuperStream comes on strong

SuperStream is making super contributions simple, by requiring employers to process superannuation contributions electronically in a standard format and with a minimum set of agreed information. It will reduce administrative costs across the system and protect individuals’ retirement savings by ensuring contributions reach the right account quickly, efficiently and with fewer errors. Over 250,000 employers have now adopted the process, making over two million super contributions each month, including to SMSFs.

Every day, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) hears good news about employers who are saving time and money, as well as cutting down on paperwork when paying super for their employees. We encourage all employers to adopt SuperStream. Our outreach activities reaches employers directly and through key touch points, such as their super funds, payroll software providers, industry bodies and accounting professionals.

For small employers – those with 19 or fewer employees - 1 July 2015 marked the start of SuperStream. These employers have until 30 June 2016 to make the change, but they should start preparing now. Medium to large employers – those with 20 or more employees – should already be well-progressed with their implementation.

One employer told me that they have cut the time spent processing super each month from a day to less than an hour. He likened the changes to the introduction of internet banking. After the initial set-up steps, things are much easier and faster than before.

It is also pleasing to see many accounting professionals helping their employer and SMSF clients with implementation. In addition to a range of communication activities dedicated to accounting professionals, we also offer more in-depth SuperStream information on our website. Employers that have not yet made the change should speak with their payroll software provider, accounting professional or super fund to help find a solution that best suits their business needs.

Small employers and those with turnover of less than $2 million have the option of using our free Small Business Superannuation Clearing House to meet their super guarantee and SuperStream obligations. They simply log in to make super payments and can opt to pre-populate employee information each time they pay.

The ATO has provided resources on its website, including:

The ATO is pleased that employers and SMSFs are getting ready for SuperStream and benefiting from a simplified and consistent process. We continue to welcome the support of accountants and bookkeepers to help prepare their clients.


Philip Hind is the National Program Manager, Data Standards & E-commerce (SuperStream) at the Australian Taxation Office.


ATO perspective: ‘only’ 2,184 SMSFs have assets over $10 million

SMSFs: 8 reasons they are over-spruiked and over-rated

Meeting the work test for contributions



October 13, 2015

PGH's comments on banking sector doing this intra-day do not align with the practice of cheques being deposited today taking three working days to clear, despite the issuing account having sufficient balance and being debited ahead of the credit. Even EFT transactions which should be instantaneous receive disclaimers about a few working days for the credit to show up.

Curiously, where the intermediaries themselves apply the credit to an account (say a mortgage), the debits are on the same day, while the customer often waits for the credit to show up on accessing the online mortgage account. Redraws fare no better.

A Ralph Naderish crusade into this inequity and the interest loss to consumers (millions of dollars I guesstimate..) would be revealing. Sam Dastyari might like to look.

To preempt the Banking Lobby's likely defences: neither alleged concerns for customer safety against fraud nor the fact it is all disclosed anyway would wash. The asymmetry gives the lie to the fraud argument, while the disclosures are code for 'we reserve the right to rip you off'.

With Real Time Gross Settlement the norm, and computing power accelerating exponentially, banks / regulators / policymakers must fix this now.

ATO response

October 12, 2015

We have updated our FAQs to answer this question, linked here:



August 04, 2015


The SuperStream initative has been a long overdue standardisation for the industry.

Sadly though - it appears that the members are missing out here.
In the past it would take around 1-5 days for funds to leave an employer's bank account and thosed funds have beingn credited to an individual's Super Account.

The difference mainly due to type of fund - eg SMSF can be in overnight while major funds took a little longer.

With nothing else changing bar using SuperStream - these timeframes have expanded by extra 5+ days or more - eg if a weekend was in the middle.

I find this so difficullt to understand since all the data exchanges are verfied before transmittions and employer funds have to be cleared before the transmittion.
So why isn't it an automated upload of datafiles and funds credited within say 24-48hours at most.

The Banking sector can now do this intra-day.
When will the Super Sector catch up to the rest of the business world.

Interested in your insights on how the real benefits of this data standardisation will flow to the members.



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