SuperStream - what is it and is it relevant for me as an SMSF trustee?

13 Sep 2021

Lyn Formica

Head of SMSF Technical & Education Services

SuperStream is an electronic data exchange currently used by some funds to receive data about contributions & rollovers from other funds. Changes to the rules commencing on 1 October may mean more SMSFs need to become familiar with the concept.  

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Under the current rules, your SMSF wouldn’t be actively using SuperStream if: 

  • there are no members making contributions to the fund, or
  • the only contributions are those made by the members personally or by the member’s employer and their employer entity is one they control.

However, if one of the members is employed by a third party, then their employer needs to use SuperStream when making contributions to your SMSF. They’d do that by using your fund’s electronic service address or ESA. Your fund’s accountant or administrator then receives that information electronically and updates the member’s records.

There are no plans to change those rules.

So what is changing?

From 1 October 2021, it will be compulsory for your SMSF to use SuperStream if:

  • One of the SMSF members has super in another fund (eg an industry or retail fund) and they want to rollover all or part of that super to your SMSF. This will be common if your SMSF was only established recently or a new member has recently joined the fund.
  • One of the members of your SMSF wants to transfer their benefits out of the SMSF (eg the members have divorced/separated).
  • You want to wind up the SMSF (eg because the fund no longer suits your needs) and as part of the wind up process, the members’ benefits will be transferred to other funds (eg industry or retail funds).

If the members of your fund are planning rollovers in or out of the fund, it is important to let your accountant/administrator know as soon as possible. They’ll need to make sure your fund has an ESA suitable for that purpose (not all of the current ESAs are suitable for rollovers in or out). They’ll also be able to walk you through the practicalities of the new rules. For example: 

  • They’ll need to use their SuperStream compliant software to receive or send the rollover data.
  • In the case of members rolling their benefits out of the fund, on 1 October 2021, new rules also come into play which mean rollovers generally need to be actioned within three business days.  

For funds administered by Heffron, our default ESA and accounting software comply with the upcoming changes. You will only need to consider a change in ESA if you’ve specifically elected to use a different ESA provider.

If your SMSF needs to use the new SuperStream rules and can’t (eg because you don’t have an appropriate ESA or your accountant/administrator doesn’t have SuperStream compliant software): 

  • other funds will not rollover benefits to your SMSF, and
  • in the case of rollovers out of the SMSF, penalties may be imposed on you as the SMSF trustee.