Changes to superannuation laws now allow the Commissioner of Taxation to introduce minimum requirements relating to superannuation obligations, including the payment of contributions and the provision of information by employers. One such requirement is that from 1st July 2014, employers with 20 or more employees will be required to make employee super contributions electronically, and provide the required data to super funds by electronic data transfer. Cheque payments will not be sufficient and may not meet the Superannuation Guarantee obligations, except in limited cases, where the employer uses a clearing house. A similar requirement will apply from 1st July 2015 for employers with up to 19 employees. While it has become common practice for many employers to contribute to superannuation in this way, some employers will need to update payroll software and processes to ensure that they are ready for the change when it comes.
The ATO is providing a range of education and support tools and services to employers, including:
- self-help materials on the ATO website, such as fact sheets, FAQs, user guides, business scenarios and other explanatory material
- links to the legal framework and reference materials supporting the standard
- a dedicated support mailbox
- industry seminars and presentations, and audio-visual aids
- a register of providers (forthcoming)
- look-up and validation tools to support electronic transactions.
The ATO is also partnering with a wide range of service providers and intermediaries to assist them in working with employers. Further details are available at: http://www.ato.gov.au/Super/Data-standards/In-detail/Contributions/Employer-FAQs—Getting-ready-for-the-standard/?default=&page=1