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The SuperStream landscape for SMSFs and the benefits of using a white-labelled ESA

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Posted in: Wealth Management Administration
Published: 07/02/2022

Author: Kathy Taylor-Hofmann, Business Solutions Executive – Retail Wealth at GBST

What is SuperStream?

SuperStream is the government reform that was introduced to help automate and streamline superannuation contributions made by employers into APRA-regulated super funds and Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs). The initiative defines how the details of a contribution and the accompanying payment should be delivered.

The legislation was introduced in 2015 and has become the standardised mechanism for super transactions across an integrated network of gateways. This is the new “norm” for how Australian businesses must pay employee contributions to super funds and SMSFs. The money and information are transferred between the employers, the super fund or SMSF, SuperStream service providers, and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). SuperStream was established to enable contributions to be processed more efficiently.

All payments to SMSFs need to be accompanied by details about the contribution, which is delivered to an Electronic Service Address.

What is an Electronic Service Address?

For an SMSF to receive SuperStream data, it needs an Electronic Service Address (ESA). This functions as a mailbox for SuperStream messages and operates in a similar way to payroll advice. For example, when a wage is paid into a bank account, the accompanying pay slip is what provides the exact details around the payment including the gross amount, tax, and super contribution.

This same principle applies to an ESA. When a super contribution is paid into an SMSF member’s bank account by an employer, the remittance advice of the contribution such as the date, the amount, and the type of contribution is delivered to the ESA via a SuperStream gateway.

How do the SuperStream gateways work?

All 597,900 SMSFs need to choose an ESA service provider linked to a SuperStream gateway of their choice that delivers the messages to the ESA. There were initially eight SuperStream gateway providers in the network approved by the ATO, and this number has only increased to nine due to the infrastructure’s complex nature. The SuperStream gateway is a highly secure messaging hub built on a series of technologies and software that adheres to the ATO’s messaging standards. Super funds can create their own gateway, although it is a difficult and onerous process to build, requiring millions of dollars and many years of experience, and it must behave in a precise manner to ensure it meets the ATO’s specifications. All SuperStream gateway providers need to undergo interoperability testing to demonstrate they have the technical capability to operate in the network.

The SuperStream gateways require continual investment to remain compliant, and any new laws introduced by the ATO need to be implemented before the legislation comes into place.

Is it possible to have a white-labelled ESA service?

There are platforms available that will facilitate the use of a SuperStream gateway, the ESA, and its delivery to be branded under an organisation’s own proposition. This allows accountants, financial planners, and other providers who perform services relating to SMSFs for their clients to utilise a pre-built, robust, and personalised solution that offers all the features required to be SuperStream compliant, without the organisation needing to hire additional employees to develop the software and perform ongoing testing, maintenance, and upgrades.

By adopting a white-labelled ESA, SMSF service providers can expand their product offerings, enhance brand credibility, and strengthen customer loyalty, while reducing costs and mitigating risk.

Obtaining a white-labelled ESA offering

GBST’S MyWealthMailbox can either be offered as an obligation-free, standalone online service for a SMSFs to comply with SuperStream obligations or a white-labelled solution for an SMSF service provider’s own clients.

If a provider needed a white-labelled ESA offering, MyWealthMailbox can be cloned and white-labelled. The service is highly customisable and can be branded under the SMSF service provider’s own name and logo.

The mailbox enables SMSF trustees to access their contribution remittance statements in a secure, more dependable way than the previous method used prior to the legislative requirement, which simply received information direct from the fund via a nominated email address. The statements in the mailbox will provide confirmation that a super payment has been made by an employer and include all the tax information necessary for proper reporting.

GBST’s SuperStream Gateway

MyWealthMailbox is connected to GBST’s SuperStream Gateway, which is a highly secure service provided to many APRA Funds, SMSF service providers, and MyWealthMailbox for the delivery of messages.

GBST’s SuperStream Gateway is built on modern technology and leverages an extensive network of messaging capabilities. It is a fully hosted and managed messaging hub that is certified and compliant with the ATO’s standards to provide all the functionality required for SuperStream participants. It can be easily integrated with third-party registry platforms to deliver true straight-through processing, improve member experience, reduce technology costs, while increasing efficiency.

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