Following the Assistant Treasurer's announcement that the Government is streamlining the consultation arrangements for superannuation, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) is calling on the Government to urgently review the governance arrangements for the SuperStream transaction network.
At present, there are no formal governance arrangements in place for the gateway network. The process for accepting new gateways into the network and gateway technical capability certification arrangements are also not established. ASFA believes these issues could be addressed by authorising the Commissioner of Taxation to extend the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO's) regulatory reach on superannuation data and payment matters to the gateways that are part of the SuperStream transaction network.
ASFA CEO Ms Pauline Vamos says this is a significant emerging risk across the whole superannuation system, which if not addressed, could jeopardise the effective delivery of the SuperStream reforms.
"SuperStream will be a game changer for employers, fund members and funds, including self-managed superannuation funds, who will benefit from improved data quality, reduced transaction costs and the more timely processing of transactions. However, we are concerned that without direct and immediate Government management, through the ATO, of the superannuation transaction network of gateways, the SuperStream vision will not be delivered.
"Now that the SuperStream Advisory Council is to be disbanded, it's becoming increasingly critical that the Government take action and put the appropriate governance arrangements in place. We call on the Government to urgently address this issue, so that employers and fund members are able to reap the benefits resulting from the smooth delivery of SuperStream."
Ms Vamos says that such action could be implemented with no impact on the Budget bottom line.
"The industry has already invested considerable resources in SuperStream, and we believe any extension of the ATO's operations could be funded from the existing levy."
For further information, please contact:
Lisa Chikarovski, Media Manager, 0451 949 300.
ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia's superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political national organisation, which aims is to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.