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Mind the Gap! Are you ready for the SuperStream ‘e-conversation’?
Published on 03 Aug 2012
With the start of SuperStream now under a year away and the ATO suggesting super funds need to have solutions in place for testing by the end of March 2013, now is the time for funds to ensure they fully understand the implications of SuperStream and are ready for 1 July 2013.
There are a number of issues that funds need to consider; some of which – though critical – may not be obvious.
From 1 July 2013 messages will start turning up at fund businesses from other funds that need to get from their (digital) front door to their administration system. Similarly funds will need to be able to initiate and manage requests to each other, such as rollovers, which have traditionally been managed with manual processes. So in this new digital world, how will messages be managed once they arrive at a fund and how will the message ‘lifecycle’ be managed? To put it another way, what will the nature of the ‘e-conversation’ between funds look like?
In the contributions space, messages for member registration and the contribution itself will be sent by the employer – possibly via a clearing house – to the fund. The fund will be required to receive and acknowledge receipt of messages and respond with any errors in the contributions message with the contribution payment to the employer. What system will manage this process? An employer will then have to re-start the process with corrected information. Member registrations will require funds to respond immediately with a member number – most likely a temporary number to start with. How will this message be generated?
With rollovers, funds will need to initiate a rollover request by generating an electronic message, which is normally done with a paper form today, and send this message to the source fund. The source fund in turn will be required to process the benefit redemption and transmit the data to the target fund via the rollover transaction. How will these messages be populated?
The target fund will receive the message before the payment arrives and will have to wait before allocation to the member. How will this workflow be managed?
Funds will need to have an intimate understanding of messaging, as well as a plan in place to manage the flow of data into, around and then out of the organisation. Managing SuperStream compliance is going to require considerations around receiving and responding to messages, message monitoring, error correction lifecycle, auditing and compliance reporting, message translation (to/from XBRL) and systems integration.
The SuperStream data standards will enforce the use of the XBRL data format between funds, but translation to native administration system formats could take place either inside or outside of the organisation. The important thing to remember, however, is that simply translating files back and forwards from XBRL does not help manage the rollover and contribution messages in the organisation or the necessary ‘e-conversation’ between funds.
The ultimate question is whether funds realise that these issues exist and have a strategy in place to be ready for the changes next year.
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