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For many years, the Australian Government has been concerned about the effect of escalating levels of unpaid super on Australian workers’ retirement savings. In fact, the amount of unpaid super for the year 2015 was $5.9 billion.¹ In order to address this problem and boost super payment transparency, the government introduced Single Touch Payroll (STP) legislation in 2018.
In the first of this two-part mini-series, we talk to Stuart Korchinski, CEO of SuperChoice (the creators of Employer Direct) about what employers who aren’t yet using STP need to do to get ready for the 1 July 2019 go-live date.
STP is a mandatory payroll reporting change that affects all employers across Australia. Employers with more than 20 staff have already been required to meet STP reporting requirements since 1 July 2018.
From 1 July 2019, all Australian employers will need to comply, regardless of size.
STP reporting enables your employees’ tax and super information to be sent to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) each time you pay your staff. As an employer, you don’t send this information directly to the ATO. Instead you use a STP tool – such as QSuper’s Employer Direct portal – which has in-built encryption and security controls to protect the confidential information of your employees.
CEO of SuperChoice Stuart Korchinski said most employers take about three months to onboard for STP.
“Our message to employers who aren’t yet STP-compliant is to start preparing now, because it could require more work than you think,” Mr Korchinski said.
“This applies to employers with a deferred STP implementation date, and those with fewer than 20 employees.
“A common misconception among employers is that STP doesn’t require any significant changes to current reporting and that implementation can be done last minute. This isn't correct.”
STP reporting makes employers’ reporting requirements more detailed than before. As a result, all payrolls have to update their software to either start collecting the data or extract the data to be saved in the correct file format.
“We recommend employers do test runs and work through any challenges as they arise ahead of the 1 July 2019 mandatory go-live,” Mr Korchinksi said.
QSuper’s Employer Direct portal gives employers an opportunity to run a test STP pay event report to identify any errors in their payroll dataset before their first submission.
“From our experience, most payroll datasets have been found to be either incomplete or inaccurate. Until poor data is corrected, errors will occur for every STP report submitted.
“For this reason, we urge all employers yet to come on board to spend some time cleaning up their data.
“Simply sending the same EMDUPE/PSAR data more often won’t fix any underlying data problems.”
While reporting changes could mean some work for you in the short term, Mr Korchinski is confident the benefits outweigh the costs.
“Employers who invest in updating their data will have aligned and streamlined reporting for both STP and SuperStream. Being able to match the information super funds receive with what’s being reported to the ATO eliminates the need for manual reconciliation, while also removing inaccuracy,’ he said.
Employer Direct allows you to meet both your SuperStream and STP reporting obligations through an easy-to-use online platform.
Your Relationship Manager can help you better understand your STP obligations. Contact our Employer Services team on 1300 472 282 or at email@example.com
Find out more
1 Media release of 6 December 2018 - report by Industry Super Australia, accessed 2 Jan 2019 at http://www.industrysuperaustralia.com/media/unpmedia-releases/new-unpaid-super-laws-a-good-start-but-dont-go-far-enough/
Stuart Korchinski is the CEO of SuperChoice, the supplier of QSuper’s Employer Direct portal. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the QSuper Board. This information is general information only, and you should get professional advice before relying on this information.
QSuper utilises SuperChoice’s SuperStream and STP solutions, which can be accessed through our Employer Direct portal.
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