Making contributions to super funds is compulsory in Australia and that means most employers are required to top up their workers’ retirement balance with regular superannuation guarantee (SG) payments. Small business owners know this can be a time-consuming and expensive process. For SMEs with an annual turnover of less than $10 million and fewer than 20 employees, the cost of managing super funds can be disproportionately high. To ease this burden, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) offers a small business superannuation clearing house (SBSCH) service. Eligible businesses don’t need to pay any fees to use this service when making SG contributions through SuperStream.
How can I check my small business superannuation clearing house eligibility?
You only need to look at your company’s information to know if you qualify to use the SBSCH: it’s for businesses with an annual turnover below $10 million and 19 or fewer employees.
You’ll need to log into the Business Portal with your myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) before you can start using the SBSCH. For more information, visit the ATO’s online resource on accessing the small business superannuation clearing house service.
How do I use the small business superannuation clearing house service?
Once you’ve registered for the service using your ABN, you can add information about your business and the people who work for you. These can be either full-time employees or part-time and casual workers. As an employer, you’ll need to register the super fund chosen by newly hired employees within three weeks of listing them on the SBSCH.
If any of your employees prefer to use a self-managed super fund (SMSF), you’ll need to ensure you add the details of that fund accurately. Usually, you’ll need to include the fund’s name, ABN, SuperStream electronic service address (ESA) and bank account details. After doing so, you can deposit the super contributions in the chosen super funds or to a default fund if the employee hasn’t indicated a choice. When an employee quits your business, you’ll need to update their record in the SBSCH with the date they last worked for you. That employee’s record will become inactive at that point, although you won’t be able to delete their record from your business information profile.
Access to the SBSCH is not limited to business owners. You can assign the task of maintaining SBSCH records and transacting through the service, for instance, to the person in charge of finances or payroll records in your firm. The nominated person will have to guarantee that your obligations as an employer are met every quarter. This will require them to verify that the super fund contribution has been made and received accurately by the due date and any payment issues have been resolved.