Australia Post’s straightforward service offering to act as a conduit between an employer and an SMSF to meet SuperStream obligations has resonated well with the market, ahead of the commencement date.
From 1 July, all super funds, including SMSFs, that receive contributions from unrelated parties must have a gateway service that enables them to receive SuperStream messages from employers.
Australia Post also offers a small business contribution service, whereby businesses submit super guarantee contributions and paperwork via any Australia Post branch that accepts several payment channels, including cheque, Bpay and Postbillpay.
After exhibiting at the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) National Conference in Brisbane last month, Australia Post head of savings and retirement Angus Giles said the simplicity of its proposition was the most appealing aspect.
“Our knowledge about this subject matter was one of the attributes that seems to have flowed back from the SPAA conference, as well as the simplicity of what we’re offering,” Giles told selfmanagedsuper.
“We’re just trying to suggest to SMSFs that this is a compliant message service that allows them to continue what they wish to do around their SMSF because, unfortunately, the SMSFs may see it as a bit of a burden – that there’s compliance that needs to be done.
“Importantly, we’re the plumbing in the middle – we’re not a fund, we’re not the small employer, we’re just providing the bridge between the two to meet the compliance burden that either a small fund will have or the SMSF trustees will have.”
He said demand was definitely strong and slowly flowing through as many SMSFs did not have the IT infrastructure to comply.
“On the SMSF side, that has only just been recently launched and we’ve had a number of very interested parties, including BGL, who came on board at the end of last year,” he said.
“A lot of the do-it-yourself funds do not want to spend a lot of money to comply.
“IT builds are great for large administrators to spend time and money on a compliant message service, but not all do-it-yourself funds have that capability or that luxury.”
SMSF trustees can subscribe to the service for $25 for a 12-month registration, a 50 per cent discount, before 31 May.
Giles co-authored Australia Post’s submission to the Cooper review two years ago.
“Australia Post saw a space that we wanted to play in, as we saw an opportunity whereby to help small businesses and consumers who are involved in the superannuation industry comply with the new legislation, which is coming through the system,” he said.
“We’ve got the footprint with a number of outlets and we’re also a trusted brand.”
Australia Post would continue to promote its services, especially to the SMSF market through channels such as accountants, he said.
In addition, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) was currently sending correspondence to SMSF trustees about SuperStream compliance, which was spurring the market on, he said.
“I think that the message is also getting out from administrators to the SMSF market,” he said.
“There’s a hard 1 July deadline, but the ATO have also put out that they want SMSFs to register with a service by the end of May, and my expectation is that those SMSFs who want to remain compliant would’ve chosen a service provider by the end of May.”