As of Friday 1st October 2021, SMSF’s are now required to use the automated SuperStream System to process inward and outward cash rollovers.

SuperStream System is a data and payment standard used for digital transactions within the super industry. Its main purpose is to eliminate some superannuation paper transactions and to also speed up processing.

SuperStream has been compulsory for retail and industry funds for some time. In the past, SMSFs have processed rollovers by the paying fund sending a paper rollover benefits statement and cheque to the receiving fund. Thanks to the availability of SuperStream, this can now be achieved electronically.

It is also compulsory for SuperStream System to be used by employers and SMSFs to process employer contributions, unless the employer and the SMSF are related parties. Where a fund is SuperStream ready, the ATO will also be using SuperStream to issue release authorities for excess contributions and Division 293 amounts.

SuperStream applies to cash transactions between funds, so it does not apply to in specie rollovers when an asset other than cash is transferred between funds or internal transactions within a fund, for example; pension commencements or commutations. Furthermore, it also does not apply to contributions splitting transfers or payment splitting transfers between formers spouses or partners, unless this involves payment to another fund.

These changes are most likely to cause problems for SMSFs that are not administered on specialist software platforms. SuperStream means that a SMSF must have;

  • an electronic service address (ESA, provided by most specialist superannuation platforms, or an SMSF messaging provider), and
  • an ABN, and
  • a unique bank account on record with the ATO.

It is also important that trustee and member details are up to date in the ABN register.

Where an amount is to be rolled out of an SMSF under SuperStream:

  • Details of the member and the receiving fund must be verified. If the rollover request is made through the member’s MyGov account, the ATO will undertake the verification process. If the request is made through either the transferring or the receiving fund, the transferring fund must undertake the verification process. The transferring fund will use the ATO’s SMSFmemberTICK service to validate the member’s TFN, and if the receiving fund is an SMSF, the ATO’s SMSF Verification Service (SVS) to validate the receiving fund.
  • The transferring fund must make the rollover via SuperStream no later than 3 business days after all required information has been received by the fund.
  • The transferring fund must send a copy of the rollover benefits statement or death benefit rollover statement to the member within 30 days of the rollover payment.
  • As a security check, the ATO will email or text the member to alert them that the SVS has been used. If the member did not request the rollover, they should contact the transferring fund immediately, as the payment may be processed within three business days.

An SMSF that is not SuperStream ready will be unable to receive inward rollovers after Friday 1st October 2021.

The use of SuperStream and the associated time limits are now part of the payment standards in the superannuation rules, this means that fund auditors will be checking compliance and non-compliance is potentially a matter for an auditor contravention report to be lodged with the ATO.

One of the benefits of SuperStream is that members of SMSFs that are SuperStream ready and who want to roll over balances from other super funds into their SMSF can initiate these rollovers electronically and the rollover should be finalised within days.