Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Payments can the Superconnect Clearing House Accept?

I had a person ask me today "What type of payments does the Superconnect Clearing House handle?"

Firstly I must point out that the Superconnect Clearing House is a superannuation payment system. Any type of superannuation payment can be handled. There is the normal superannuation contribution that employers make on behalf of their employess and then there are others as well such as an employee's salary sacrifice payment.

An employee can also make payments on behalf of her/his spouse to a designated account within the employee's superannuation fund. There is also provision for volunatary payments made to a superannuation fund by the employer or by the employee.

Each of these different types of payments are made seperately within the Superconnect Clearing House so that the receiving fund can make note of what the payments are for and where the amounts should be credited.

There is more about this on our website at the Superconnect Site.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Working with "Do-It-Yourself" Funds

Suppose a new employee of your brings with him his own "Do-It-Yourself" fund. How do you handle paying contributions to such a fund? Is this OK to pay superannuation contributions to an employee's own fund?

Rather than choose a retail fund to receive and administer super contributions, some employees have chosen the option of setting up their own self-managed fund. Provided that the employee has established the DIY fund properly it is quite all right to pay super contributions into such a fund.

If you as an employer registers with Superconnect you will find it quite easy to make payments to any DIY fund as Superconnect specializes in working with DIY funds. You must however ensure that you obtain the correct details in order to make payments to such a fund. When you register with Superconnect you can obtain a list of information you will need when making payments to the DIY fund.

If an employee is considering establishing a DIY fund they need to know that running such a fund is not for the feint hearted. Running a fund requires that the employee needs to comply with legal and tax requirements, as well as making investment decisions and fund administration. Generally a lawyer or tax accountant can direct your employee to the right channels to establish a DIY fund.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Required Superannuation Record Keeping

There are record keeping obligations to which you must adhere as an employer making super contributions for and on behalf of your employees. Records of what you have paid needs to be kept in English, for five years, and if needed you should have the right software to access those records.

There are also specific records you need to keep in relation to the making of payments for the Superannuation Gurantee contributions. You need to keep such records for five years and you need to keep any documents that you used to calculate how much superannuation was paid for each person. You also need to keep records that affect your liability, such as advice from trustees about the funds to which you are contributing. These records can be examined by the Tax Office and there are penalties for failing to keep accurate records.

Also, if you incur any super guarantee charge you need to keep records showing how you calculated the charge and when such payments were made. There are penalties for not keeping records regarding the superannuation guarantee payments.

For further information about keeping superannuation guarantee contributions you should visit the Australian Taxation Office website page titled "Superannuation Record Keeping". As well you can visit the Superconnect Clearing House website to see how using the Superconnect system you can maintain elecronic records of super contributions.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Giving Employees the Correct Info


As you would already know the requirement to give employees a quarterly statement of how much super you paid into their chosen fund was discontinued in 2005.

However, you are required to tell your employees the default fund into which their super contributions will be paid within 28 days of them starting work with you. You are also required to add the name of the fund and the amount of super contribution on the employee's payslip if you are covered by the Workplace Relations Act.

These laws, relating to super contributions, are administered by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. You can obtain further information about these laws by going to www.dewr.gov.au.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Records an employer needs to keep relating to Superannuation

As an employer you are required to maintain records relating to employees' choice of fund. The method of keeping such records is flexible but there are certain requirements to maintain records relating to choice of fund as indicated by the Australian Taxation Office website.

These records include:

  • details of employees who do not have to be offered a choice of superannuation fund. For example, if an employee is not eligible to choose because the certified agreement they are employed under requires superannuation support to be provided
  • confirmation that your fund meets the insurance requirements. These could be a copy of the product disclosure statement provided by the fund, or a record of a telephone conversation with an authorised representative of the superannuation fund about the level of insurance it offers

  • evidence that shows you have provided the Standard choice form to all eligible employees. For example, you may issue the Standard choice form by email and keep copies of the emails, and

  • the written information the employee provides when they nominate their chosen fund, and

  • receipts or other documents issued by the fund showing that you have made superannuation contributions for that employee to the chosen fund.
Further information can be found on the Taxation Office website. You can use the Superconnect Clearing House to maintain records of payment showing all contributions made on behalf of employees and the funds to which these contributions have been sent.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Superannuation Tools

You need not be on your own to make decisions about your employees' eligibility to receive Superannuation Guarantee Contributions. The Australian Taxation Office provides a nice lot of decision and calculation tools that can be used online. Each of these tools are designed specifically for employers to make decisions and calculations relating directly to super contributions.

Perhaps one of the first tools you need to use is the tool to decide who is not eligible for super contributions. Of importance here is the decision tool to decide whether a worker is classified by the Australian Taxation Office as an employee or a contractor. If you are in doubt as to whether a worker is eligible for super payments you can also use the SG Eligibility Decision Tool.

To calculate the amount of super that should be paid for each of your workers the Superannuation Guarantee Contributions Calculator is a handy little tool. This can be used to list each of the payments and provides a list of Funds to which amounts of money should be paid.

Super is paid on ordinary times earnings. If you are not sure what your employee's ordinary times earnings is you can visit the page Using ordinary times earnings to pay super. You may also need to visit the page Changes You May Need to Make from 1 July 2008 to ensure you are calculating your employees' super contributions correctly. The Taxation Office also provides a thorough checklist to enable you to decide if certain payments made to your employees should be counted as ordinary times earnings.

A complete guide from the Australian Taxation Office is found in the pages titled, "Employers Superannuation Essentials."

Of course the simplest way to actually pay your employees' superannuation contributions is by using the Superconnect Clearing House. By using this tool you can keep track of all super contributions, maintain a list of all data required to make payments and you can add or delete entries to keep them up-to-date.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Advice on supplying an employees TFN

This is an important question: do you need to supply an employee's Tax File Number (TFN) to the employee's chosen super fund?

As of July 1, 2007, when your employee fills out a TFN declaration form, you must pass it on to the super fund.

If you do not pass on your employee's TFN you will be guilty of an offence and liable to pay a penalty. Further, your employee may have to pay extra tax on the contributions made to the super fund, and more, your employee may miss out on the Federal Government's super co-contribution payments.

If you make employer contributions for an employee, you need to give the fund the TFN within 14 days of receiving the employee's TFN declaration form. But if you do not make a contribution for the employee for that period, you may pass the TFN on when you make a contribution.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When do I have to pay super for former employees?

Generally speaking your responsibility to pay SG contributions on behalf of employees ceases when they leave your employment.

However, the last payment may not be due to be paid until after the employee leaves, particularly if your payroll system is such that contributions are paid on a certain day of the month that may be after the date of the employee leaving. In this situation you are still required to make the final SG payment on behalf of the employee.

There will also be situations where you will be paying employment termination payments (ETP) as employees leave your employment. In most cases you will be making a lump sum payment to the employee.

If the employee would prefer you to transfer their ETP to their accumulated super fund you can only accommodate their request until June 30, 2012 and should make sure that the payment fits in under the current transitional arrangements.

For further information about this you should visit the Australian Taxation Office site.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What if my employee has not become a member of the fund he nominates?

Quite frankly, this is not your problem as an employer. It is up to the employee to find out how to join the fund that they nominate and to obtain product disclosure statements, information and application forms for that fund.

You need to tell your employee that she/he needs to have joined a fund of their choice by the next due date for super payments to be made, otherwise their super contributions will be paid into the default fund chosen by you.

It is important to remember that as an employer you are not permitted to provide any research, comparisons, or product disclosure statements for any other fund other than your default fund, and you must not try to influence your employee in any way or provide them with financial advice when choosing a super fund.

If you pay super contributions into a super fund that your employee has nominated but not joined, those super contributions may be automatically rejected. Your employee must be a member of a fund they nominate.

In fact, if you use the Superconnect Clearing House, the system will not allow you to pay a super contribution to a fund without the member number. This means that you will not be allowed to make the mistake.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Selecting a default fund for your company

As an employer you must choose an employer-nominated fund for employees who do not exercise their right to choose a super fund.

Through the introduction of Choice of Fund Legislation most employees are now eligible to choose their own super fund. However, most employees contribute to their employer-nominated fund rather than selecting another fund. This is mostly because most employees are not focussed on building their retirement nest egg.

Employers, though, need to select a fund wisely so that their employees who contribute to that fund are well served. In choosing a default fund, employers must consider whether the fund meets prudential regulatory requirements, has effective procedures in place for following up arrears in payments, has a representative trustee structure, and complies with relevant legislation.

Regardless of what fund you choose for the default fund you can serve your employees well by making all payments to that fund through Superconnect. At Superconnect we have electronic connection with hundreds of funds and can electronically make the payments and send advice slips to the relevant fund through the Superconnect Clearing House.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How to handle "Do-It-Yourself" funds

Suppose a new employee of your brings with him his own "Do-It-Yourself" fund. How do you handle paying contributions to such a fund? Is this OK to pay superannuation contributions to an employee's own fund?

Rather than choose a retail fund to receive and administer super contributions, some employees have chosen the option of setting up their own self-managed fund. Provided that the employee has established the DIY fund properly it is quite all right to pay super contributions into such a fund.

If you as an employer registers with Superconnect you will find it quite easy to make payments to any DIY fund as Superconnect specializes in working with DIY funds. You must however ensure that you obtain the correct details in order to make payments to such a fund. When you register with Superconnect you can obtain a list of information you will need when making payments to the DIY fund.

If an employee is considering establishing a DIY fund they need to know that running such a fund is not for the feint hearted. Running a fund requires that the employee needs to comply with legal and tax requirements, as well as making investment decisions and fund administration. Generally a lawyer or tax accountant can direct your employee to the right channels to establish a DIY fund.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Where can I get super information and help?

Perhaps you have just started in business and you need some help in deciding what to do about super. Maybe your accountant has not really explained to you how super works in Australia. If you have any queries to your super contribution obligations, or do not understand how contributions should be calculated, or what penalties are for failing to pay contributions by required dates, you can obtain further information from the Australian Taxation Office website.

For a first port of call you should go to www.ato.gov.au/super and look under the section for "Employers Superannuation Essentials". The advice is divided into two sections: Basic Topics and Advanced Topics. You will find a wide range of articles in these two sections detailing just about everything an employer needs to know. You can also find a large number of fact sheets and publications on the ATO website as well some of which contains information relevant to employers and other publications that can be supplied to your employees.

Then, you may have all the information you require but find it difficult to pay super each month. This is where you can be helped by visiting with Superconnect Clearing House. Through the clearing house you can make payments to any number of super funds. Really, this is the best way to ensure that super payments are sent, on time, and to the right super funds. Find out all about it and register. It costs nothing to register . . . registration is free.

Friday, November 7, 2008

How the Superconnect Clearing House Pays Contributions


One question I have been asked a number of times now relates to how the monies you pay on behalf of your employees are actually paid to the superannuation fund administrators. That is a good question.

For the majority of superannuation contributions, the monies that are deducted from the employers bank are then aggregated in the Superconnect Clearing House and are paid to each Superannuation Fund Administrator electronically. That means Superconnect credits those monies directly to a fund administrator's banking account and then provides electronic advice on what that payment consists. This is true for hundreds of fund administrators and also many hundreds of do-it-yourself funds as well.

For the minority of funds, once the monies are aggregated, Superconnect Clearing House makes payment to these fund administrators by cheque and also provides an advice slip as to what those monies are to be credited. This, we must stress is being phased out as we bring many, many more fund administrators online.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What do I need to tell my employees about Super


As you would already know the requirement to give employees a quarterly statement of how much super you paid into their chosen fund was discontinued in 2005.

However, you are required to tell your employees the default fund into which their super contributions will be paid within 28 days of them starting work with you. You are also required to add the name of the fund and the amount of super contribution on the employee's payslip if you are covered by the Workplace Relations Act.

These laws, relating to super contributions, are administered by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. You can obtain further information about these laws by going to www.dewr.gov.au.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Avoid the Superannuation Guarantee Charge

If you fail to pay employee super contributions, you may incur a penalty. The penalty is called the Superannuation Guarantee Charge.

The Superannuation Guarantee Charge penalty is incurred if you fail to pay the 9% of ordinary time earnings into an eligible employee's chosen super fund, or, alternatively, into the default fund, or fail to make all your payments by the quarterly cut-off dates each year.

If you incur the penalty you will have to pay the amount of unpaid super based on salary and wages, plus interest at the rate of 10% a year and a $20 per employee per quarter administration fee to the Australia Taxation Office. You will not be able to claim this charge as a tax deduction.

One way you can ensure that you will never incur the SG Charge is to use the Superconnect Clearing House. Through using the Superconnect Clearing House you can ensure timely payments, a sure method of the funds arriving at the correct super fund, and an audit trail showing payments for each employee.

To avoid incurring the Superannuation Guarantee Charge when using the Superconnect Clearing House you should make your payments 10 days prior to the closing date. This will give enough time for payments to be received by the fund(s) of choice and will ensure arrival before the due date.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Records an employer needs to keep regarding choice of fund

As an employer you are required to maintain records relating to employees' choice of fund. The method of keeping such records is flexible but there are certain requirements to maintain records relating to choice of fund as indicated by the Australian Taxation Office website.

These records include:

  • details of employees who do not have to be offered a choice of superannuation fund. For example, if an employee is not eligible to choose because the certified agreement they are employed under requires superannuation support to be provided
  • confirmation that your fund meets the insurance requirements. These could be a copy of the product disclosure statement provided by the fund, or a record of a telephone conversation with an authorised representative of the superannuation fund about the level of insurance it offers

  • evidence that shows you have provided the Standard choice form to all eligible employees. For example, you may issue the Standard choice form by email and keep copies of the emails, and

  • the written information the employee provides when they nominate their chosen fund, and

  • receipts or other documents issued by the fund showing that you have made superannuation contributions for that employee to the chosen fund.
Further information can be found on the Taxation Office website. You can use the Superconnect Clearing House to maintain records of payment showing all contributions made on behalf of employees and the funds to which these contributions have been sent.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tools to calculate and provide decisions relating to Super

You need not be on your own to make decisions about your employees' eligibility to receive Superannuation Guarantee Contributions. The Australian Taxation Office provides a nice lot of decision and calculation tools that can be used online. Each of these tools are designed specifically for employers to make decisions and calculations relating directly to super contributions.

Perhaps one of the first tools you need to use is the tool to decide who is not eligible for super contributions. Of importance here is the decision tool to decide whether a worker is classified by the Australian Taxation Office as an employee or a contractor. If you are in doubt as to whether a worker is eligible for super payments you can also use the SG Eligibility Decision Tool.

To calculate the amount of super that should be paid for each of your workers the Superannuation Guarantee Contributions Calculator is a handy little tool. This can be used to list each of the payments and provides a list of Funds to which amounts of money should be paid.

Super is paid on ordinary times earnings. If you are not sure what your employee's ordinary times earnings is you can visit the page Using ordinary times earnings to pay super. You may also need to visit the page Changes You May Need to Make from 1 July 2008 to ensure you are calculating your employees' super contributions correctly. The Taxation Office also provides a thorough checklist to enable you to decide if certain payments made to your employees should be counted as ordinary times earnings.

A complete guide from the Australian Taxation Office is found in the pages titled, "Employers Superannuation Essentials."

Of course the simplest way to actually pay your employees' superannuation contributions is by using the Superconnect Clearing House. By using this tool you can keep track of all super contributions, maintain a list of all data required to make payments and you can add or delete entries to keep them up-to-date.

Friday, October 31, 2008

What is a complying super fund and how do I check?

A superannuation fund is considered to be complying if it meets specific requirements and obligations outlined in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.

Employer, it is your responsibility to check whether the fund an employee has nominated under choice is a complying super fund, before remitting any contributions. One way to check this is by visiting the Super Fund Lookup.

If your employee submits a "self-managed" fund (or Do-It-Yourself fund) it is the employees responsibility to submit a copy of documentation from the ATO confirming the fund is regulated.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Three Steps to Ensure Your Super Guarantee Obligations are Met

When a new employee starts with your company there are three steps you should follow to ensure your superannuation guarantee obligations are met.

In the first step you should identify any new employees that are eligible for super payments. If you do not have any eligible employees there is nothing you need to do further. However, if you have new employees who are eligible to select their own super fund you need to follow through with providing them with the standard choice form.

A new employee is eligible to select their own super fund if:
  • employed under a federal award
  • employed under a former state award, now known as a ‘notional agreement preserving state award’
  • employed under another award or agreement that doesn’t require superannuation support, or
  • not employed under any state award or industrial agreement (including contractors paid principally for their labour).
In the second step you should provide eligible employees with a Standard Choice Form. These are obtainable from the link provided above.

Once your employee has nominated his/her choice of fund you then need to take the third step and act on your emploee's choice. You have two months from the date of notification to pay your employee's contributions to her/his choice of fund.

More information on these three steps is available from the Australian Taxation Office website.

Superannuation record keeping

There are record keeping obligations to which you must adhere as an employer making super contributions for and on behalf of your employees. Records of what you have paid needs to be kept in English, for five years, and if needed you should have the right software to access those records.

There are also specific records you need to keep in relation to the making of payments for the Superannuation Gurantee contributions. You need to keep such records for five years and you need to keep any documents that you used to calculate how much superannuation was paid for each person. You also need to keep records that affect your liability, such as advice from trustees about the funds to which you are contributing. These records can be examined by the Tax Office and there are penalties for failing to keep accurate records.

Also, if you incur any super guarantee charge you need to keep records showing how you calculated the charge and when such payments were made. There are penalties for not keeping records regarding the superannuation guarantee payments.

For further information about keeping superannuation guarantee contributions you should visit the Australian Taxation Office website page titled "Superannuation Record Keeping". As well you can visit the Superconnect Clearing House website to see how using the Superconnect system you can maintain elecronic records of super contributions.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where do I go if I have a problem?

So you have a problem relating to making super payments for and on behalf of your employees, and you need some advice.

If you have any queries to your super contribution obligations, or do not understand how contributions should be calculated, or what penalties are for failing to pay contributions by required dates, you can obtain further information from the Australian Taxation Office website.

For a first port of call you should go to www.ato.gov.au/super and look under the section for "Employers Superannuation Essentials". The advice is divided into two sections: Basic Topics and Advanced Topics. You will find a wide range of articles in these two sections detailing just about everything an employer needs to know. You can also find a large number of fact sheets and publications on the ATO website as well some of which contains information relevant to employers and other publications that can be supplied to your employees.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What if an employee wants advice?

What if an employee wants some superannuation advice? Can I give that person any pointers on super issues?

Quite frankly, no, you cannot give any employee advice on superannuation unless of course your company holds a Financial Services Licence. If an employee does need superannuation advice point her/him to an adviser from the super fund to which he belongs, or get her/him to seek advice from a professional in the Industry. One of the best sources of advice is for your employee to contact their industry super fund.

But no, you must not give any super advice without the proper credentials. So if your employee wants to salary sacrifice, or needs to know how to choose a fund, or any other advice that may be needed, this advice must not come from you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What if an employee has a Do-it-Yourself fund?

So an employee of yours has given you details of her own "Do-it-Yourself" fund and you want to know whether this is OK.

Rather than choose a retail fund to receive and administer super contributions, some employees have chosen the option of setting up their own self-managed fund. Provided that the employee has established the DIY fund properly it is quite all right to pay super contributions into such a fund.

If you as an employer registers with Superconnect you will find it quite easy to make payments to any DIY fund as Superconnect specializes in working with DIY funds. You must however ensure that you obtain the correct details in order to make payments to such a fund. When you register with Superconnect you can obtain a list of information you will need when making payments to the DIY fund.

If an employee is considering establishing a DIY fund they need to know that running such a fund is not for the feint hearted. Running a fund requires that the employee needs to comply with legal and tax requirements, as well as making investment decisions and fund administration. Generally a lawyer or tax accountant can direct your employee to the right channels to establish a DIY fund.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Are there alternative accounts to super?

There are no alternative accounts to super while an eligible employee works for you. You must pay the SG contribution into either the employee's choice of fund or into a default fund setup by you.

However, if you lose track of a former employee and still have funds that should have been paid into the employee's choice of super fund but no longer have the details of where the money should have been paid you can transfer the employee's accumulated super into an eligible rollover fund (ERF).

ERFs typically pay lower earnings rates than super funds and usually do not have other features, such as insurance cover. Some provide minimal investment choices.

ERFs offer some protection against benefits being eroded by administration fees, but fees may still be charged if the balance is over $1,000.

If you chose an ERF in which to put your former employee's super, your fund trustee will be required to formally review the nominated ERF at least every three years. ERFs charge employers nothing but do charge fund members whose money they hold.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What do I do about super for former employees?

Generally speaking your responsibility to pay SG contributions on behalf of employees ceases when they leave your employment.

However, the last payment may not be due to be paid until after the employee leaves, particularly if your payroll system is such that contributions are paid on a certain day of the month that may be after the date of the employee leaving. In this situation you are still required to make the final SG payment on behalf of the employee.

There will also be situations where you will be paying employment termination payments (ETP) as employees leave your employment. In most cases you will be making a lump sum payment to the employee.

If the employee would prefer you to transfer their ETP to their accumulated super fund you can only accommodate their request until June 30, 2012 and should make sure that the payment fits in under the current transitional arrangements.

For further information about this you should visit the Australian Taxation Office site.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Superannuation Guarantee Charge

If you fail to pay employee super contributions, you may incur a penalty. The penalty is called the Superannuation Guarantee Charge.

The Superannuation Guarantee Charge penalty is incurred if you fail to pay the 9% of ordinary time earnings into an eligible employee's chosen super fund, or, alternatively, into the default fund, or fail to make all your payments by the quarterly cut-off dates each year.

If you incur the penalty you will have to pay the amount of unpaid super based on salary and wages, plus interest at the rate of 10% a year and a $20 per employee per quarter administration fee to the Australia Taxation Office. You will not be able to claim this charge as a tax deduction.

One way you can ensure that you will never incur the SG Charge is to use the Superconnect Clearing House. Through using the Superconnect Clearing House you can ensure timely payments, a sure method of the funds arriving at the correct super fund, and an audit trail showing payments for each employee.

To avoid incurring the Superannuation Guarantee Charge when using the Superconnect Clearing House you should make your payments 10 days prior to the closing date. This will give enough time for payments to be received by the fund(s) of choice and will ensure arrival before the due date.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Changes to Superannuation Guarantee obligations


By law an employer needs to pay the Superannuation Guarantee on behalf of employees on all "ordinary time earnings". From July 2008 there will be only one effective definition of "ordinary time earnings", being the legislative definition.

Generally it is defined as the amount an employee earns for ordinary hours of work. It may include over-award payments, shift or casual loadings or commissions, some allowances and paid leave, but usually excludes irregular overtime and non-performance bonuses.

Also regularly excluded are fully expended expense allowances such as car allowances, reimbursed expenses, benefits subject to fringe benefits tax, maternity leave payments, annual leave loading, accrued annual leave, long service leave and sick leave, and payments in lieu of notice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More About Tax File Numbers

Employees face significant consequences if their super funds do not have their TFNs. For example, their super may be taxed an additional 31.5% and their super fund will not be able to accept any personal contributions. This means eligible employees could miss out on receiving a government super co-contribution payment.

From 1st July 2007 the Australian Taxation Office has been checking that employers pass on employee TFNs to the relevant super fund. It is an offence not to provide an employee's TFN to their super fund within the required timeframe.

For individuals, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is about $1,100. However, the maximum penalty payable by a body corporate is currently $5,500.

The maximum penalty may apply for each offence, so if you fail to report five TFNs to the relevant super funds, five penalties can apply.

To iron out some of these problems you can gain additional help by registering and using the Superconnect Clearing House.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Do I have to provide an employee's TFN to their super fund?

This is an important question: do you need to supply an employee's Tax File Number (TFN) to the employee's chosen super fund?

As of July 1, 2007, when your employee fills out a TFN declaration form, you must pass it on to the super fund.

If you do not pass on your employee's TFN you will be guilty of an offence and liable to pay a penalty. Further, your employee may have to pay extra tax on the contributions made to the super fund, and more, your employee may miss out on the Federal Government's super co-contribution payments.

If you make employer contributions for an employee, you need to give the fund the TFN within 14 days of receiving the employee's TFN declaration form. But if you do not make a contribution for the employee for that period, you may pass the TFN on when you make a contribution.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What must I tell my employees about superannuation?


As you would already know the requirement to give employees a quarterly statement of how much super you paid into their chosen fund was discontinued in 2005.

However, you are required to tell your employees the default fund into which their super contributions will be paid within 28 days of them starting work with you. You are also required to add the name of the fund and the amount of super contribution on the employee's payslip if you are covered by the Workplace Relations Act.

These laws, relating to super contributions, are administered by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. You can obtain further information about these laws by going to www.dewr.gov.au.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

When do I have to pay the SG contributions?

Generally you are required to pay SG contributions quarterly. Employers who fail to make the required payment by the due date will be liable to pay the SG Charge to the ATO.

This charge includes the unpaid super amounts (based on salary and wages and ordinary time earnings) plus interest and an administrative fee.

You have, generally, four weeks from the end of each quarter to make payments.

The easiest way to make sure your payments are made on time and are credited to the respective super funds by the due date is to use the Superconnect Clearing House. Contributions are expedited electronically to the vast majority of funds to ensure your compliance is ensured. Register today if you need a more sure method of making SG contributions.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What if my employee is not a member of the fund that they nominate?

Quite frankly, this is not your problem as an employer. It is up to the employee to find out how to join the fund that they nominate and to obtain product disclosure statements, information and application forms for that fund.

You need to tell your employee that she/he needs to have joined a fund of their choice by the next due date for super payments to be made, otherwise their super contributions will be paid into the default fund chosen by you.

It is important to remember that as an employer you are not permitted to provide any research, comparisons, or product disclosure statements for any other fund other than your default fund, and you must not try to influence your employee in any way or provide them with financial advice when choosing a super fund.

If you pay super contributions into a super fund that your employee has nominated but not joined, those super contributions may be automatically rejected. Your employee must be a member of a fund they nominate.

In fact, if you use the Superconnect Clearing House, the system will not allow you to pay a super contribution to a fund without the member number. This means that you will not be allowed to make the mistake.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Choosing a default fund

As an employer you must choose an employer-nominated fund for employees who do not exercise their right to choose a super fund.

Through the introduction of Choice of Fund Legislation most employees are now eligible to choose their own super fund. However, most employees contribute to their employer-nominated fund rather than selecting another fund. This is mostly because most employees are not focussed on building their retirement nest egg.

Employers, though, need to select a fund wisely so that their employees who contribute to that fund are well served. In choosing a default fund, employers must consider whether the fund meets prudential regulatory requirements, has effective procedures in place for following up arrears in payments, has a representative trustee structure, and complies with relevant legislation.

Regardless of what fund you choose for the default fund you can serve your employees well by making all payments to that fund through Superconnect. At Superconect we have electronic connection with hundreds of funds and can electronically make the payments and send advice slips to the relevant fund through the Superconnect Clearing House.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Super Fund Choice


Most workers are entitled to choose the super fund they want to join. Sometimes your employees don't make an active choice. In most cases, you are then obliged to put their super contributions into a "default" fund, which is the fund you have identified as your employer-nominated fund.

However, since July 2005, most Australian employees have been able to choose the super fund their Superannuation Guarantee contributions are paid into.

Choice of fund is different from investment choice. With investment choice the fund member chooses from a range of different investment portfolios and risk profiles within a fund.

Choice of fund has given employees the opportunity to choose a fund that best suits their needs while accumulating benefits for their retirement, as well as life, and disability insurance options that fit within their needs.

Under Choice of Fund rules, you, the employer, are obliged to provide new employees with a "Standard Choice Form" within 28 days of starting employment. You can get a copy of the "Standard Choice Form" by downloading it from the Australian Taxation Office site.

There is much more we can say about super fund choice that we will continue this in the next post tomorrow. Of course you can find more about this topic on the on the ASIC Site.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Superannuation Guarantee Contributions

Following on from my previous topic, about the different payment types Superconnect Clearing House can handle we must of course talk about the main payment type -- the Superannuation Guarantee Contribution. This is the main payment type that you would handle through the Superconnect system.

Just to review for a moment, the Superannuation Guarantee contribution is a required payment employers must make on behalf of their employees. The aim is to ensure that as many Australians as possible enjoy the benefits of a superannuation income in their retirement.

As you would possibly know, the Superannuation Guarantee is an employer obligation. The contributions are a minimum set down by the Federal Government and must be paid into a complying fund, which is one that meets government standards.

If an employee earns $1,000 a month, your contribution to their super fund each month would be $90.

Ideally, this amount should be paid into your employee's super fund of choice at the same time as they receive their pay. However, this is where a lot of administrative cost comes in -- making payments to different super funds, in some cases one super fund per employee. This is where using Superconnect can save you so much time and money in sending off superannuation contributions.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Salary Sacrifice


Last week, I ended the week off by listing the different types of superannuation payments that could be made through the Superconnect Clearing House. One of these was the "salary sacrifice". And I hear you asking, well what is salary sacrifice and when might this be used for my employees.

The best place to go to get the right definitions of this is the Taxation Office website and look under salary sacrifice. Note the menu of items that outlines all the topics that can be listed about salary sacrifice.

Simply put, salary sacrifice is where an employee agrees to forego some of his/her salary to gain a benefit, such as being able to put more away into superannuation. But where the benefit really makes sense for the employee is that you the employer matches the salary sacrifice so that in essence the employee is doubling the benefit. But note, a salary sacrifice cannot be done for past earnings. A salary sacrifice can only be done for current and future earnings.

And as I have already said, the Superconnect Clearing House enables you the employer to make salary sacrifice payments on behalf of your employees through the system. The Superconnect system is the simplest way to make superannuation payments.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What Type of Payments Does Superconnect Clearing House Handle?


I had a person ask me today "What type of payments does the Superconnect Clearing House handle?"

Firstly I must point out that the Superconnect Clearing House is a superannuation payment system. Any type of superannuation payment can be handled. There is the normal superannuation contribution that employers make on behalf of their employess and then there are others as well such as an employee's salary sacrifice payment. 

An employee can also make payments on behalf of her/his spouse to a designated account within the employee's superannuation fund. There is also provision for volunatary payments made to a superannuation fund by the employer or by the employee.

Each of these different types of payments are made seperately within the Superconnect Clearing House so that the receiving fund can make note of what the payments are for and where the amounts should be credited.

There is more about this on our website at the Superconnect Site.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How does the clearing house pay superannuation funds?


One question I have been asked a number of times now relates to how the monies you pay on behalf of your employees are actually paid to the superannuation fund administrators. That is a good question.

For the majority of superannuation contributions, the monies that are deducted from the employers bank are then aggregated in the Superconnect Clearing House and are paid to each Superannuation Fund Administrator electronically. That means Superconnect credits those monies directly to a fund administrator's banking account and then provides electronic advice on what that payment consists. This is true for hundreds of fund administrators and also many hundreds of do-it-yourself funds as well.

For the minority of funds, once the monies are aggregated, Superconnect Clearing House makes payment to these fund administrators by cheque and also provides an advice slip as to what those monies are to be credited. This, we must stress is being phased out as we bring many, many more fund administrators online.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Superconnect can reduce your carbon footprint


Well it had to happen, Carbon Pocket Calculators. Pictured is a Japanese model that allows its user to calulate the carbon footprint you have on the earth. Everything from calculating the result of your trash, to the water you use, and the amount of eletricity and fuel you use.

And in case you were wondering it is solar powered to reduce the total carbon footprint when using the calculator.

Reminds me of all the superannuation calculators on the web, including this genuinely easy to use calculator by Colonial First State. There are many more online that can be found by doing a simple Google search for superannuation calculator.

Point out to your employees some of the interesting and useful calculators online. They are useful in aiding your employees to think more about their superannuation.

Of course don't forget to visit Superconnect where superannuation contribution payments can be simplified for you. Not only can it all be simplified but you can also seriously reduce the carbon footprint you make. Superconnect is all online and reduces the need for using paper to make all those superannuation contributions. You don't even need one of those Cabon Calculators to know that by using Superconnect you can save so much paper and hence reduce your carbon footprint.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sergey Brin's New Blog

Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, today started a new personal blog. His first post was very interesting. He focussed his first post on his predisposition to Parkinson's disease. Evidently it seems to be genetic and thus can run in the family. His mother has always been troubled with the disease. Through a study of inherited genes Sergey is able to predict with some degree of certainty that he will also be inflicted with the disease when he grows older. In his blog he remarks that he has some time to adjust to this situation and that he can prepare well ahead of time in case he does contract the disease.

Of note he remarks, "I feel fortunate to be in this position. Until the fountain of youth is discovered, all of us will have some conditions in our old age only we don't know what they will be. I have a better guess than almost anyone else for what ills may be mine -- and I have decades to prepare for it." Yes, we all will have some condition in our old age. I for one am feeling it now even though I am only in my mid-fifties.

This is one reason why we have superannuation as a compulsory thing here in Australia, to prepare for our old age. Essentially by you ensuring that your employees superannuation contributions are delivered to the correct fund you are helping your employees to be ready for old age.

What better way to aid your employees is there! And to make your life a whole lot easier to ensure that contributions are paid to the correct fund and the correct amounts arrive at that fund than to use Superconnect. Superconnect is the easy way to make contributions -- it is a piece of cake, simple, to make contributions arrive at their correct destination!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Long-term Commitment


Superannuation is a long-term commitment. For many of us the current stock-market crash is of little consequence to the long-term survival of funds in our superannuation accounts. The stock market does go up as well and we will find that in time our superannuation accounts reflect a much healthier stock market in years to come.

But for others, who are requiring to retire this year or next, the stock market crash has come at a bad time. There are many who will have to stave off retirement and work an extra five or so years until things improve.

None of this should, however, stop us from continuing to store value in our superannuation funds. Maybe we might want to choose to place our current funds in something else than the stock market -- maybe your fund allows you to place value in money markets, or some other site rather than the stock market.

None of this alters the fact that your employer must pay on your behalf superannuation contributions and Superconnect is the best way of your employer doing that. Here in Australia, Superconnect is the most direct way your employer can make contributions on your behalf.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The "Green" Alternative


So it is official now. The Chevrolet Volt has been unveiled and what a car. This is a "green" car that charges on electricity from the mains of your home and goes for 60 kilometers before it starts its own little motor to then recharge the on-board lithium-ion batteries.

This car is a first in the industry introducing lithium-ion batteries that will perform better than other technologies. According to the GM Fast Lane Blog this car represents a rethink in the way cars are manufactured and the way the car relies on batteries rather than a petrol driven motor. Although it does have a petrol motor it is only used to recharge the batteries should a driver want to travel more than 60 kilomoters in one go.

In the same way that the Chevrolet Volt has been hailed as a new and superior car, Superconnect is a product that should be hailed as being the superior and "green" alternative to making superannuation payments. Gone are the days when all your superannuation contributions are all completed on paper. Superconnect is the "green" way to go saving on a huge amount of paper each time superannuation contributions are sent. It is a totally electronic way to forward payments on behalf of each of your employees to their respective superannuation funds.

To really understand what a saving Superconnect can be for your business, go to Superconnect's website and read more, find out how you can really save money and save the environment at the same time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Search: It is nice to have a service like this

Ten years ago how did we find information? Before Google I can remember search was nowhere as efficient as it is today. Really, how did we get on before Google?

Now we "Google" just about anything. Want to find some new customers? There is nothing like searching to find new customers. Want to buy something, the same, Google it!

I don't know how many times a day I search using Google. It must be more than 24 times a day or sometimes more. Regardless as to whether I am at home, or working elsewhere, I Google so many times to find the right information.

Google is a service that just works. Rarely do we have to move to another search company becuase Google can find what you are looking for. It is nice when we have a service like this.

In the arena of Superannuation Contribution forwarding there is no better service than Superconnect. This is another service that simply just works. No need to go elsewhere because this service is so seamless and direct. It is nice when we have a service like this.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Personal Requirements

We all have our personal problems. Some of us are overweight, others have diabetes, heart problems, near-sightedness, and so the list could go on. It is all a matter of life, the way it presents as we go from childhood to the grave. There is one thing that is sure for all of us and that is we all grow old. That is why we have superannuation, a fund of money that can be there when we are old and in need of income without the need to work.

Today we have a relatively well organised method of adding funds to our superannuation monies. Our employers make contributions on our behalf. We can also add to that by making voluntary additional contributions. There is a complex way in which each of us can make contributions to our superannuation funds.

But employers are faced with a complex web of activity to pay contributions on our behalf. There are different ways that funds can be paid, there is often one superannuation fund for this person and another for the other person.

There is a way to simplify this all for your employers and that is to sign on for Superconnect's superannuation clearing house service. This is the way to do superannuation simply.

If your employer is not using Superconnect, how about suggesting that they look into using Superconnect. It will make sure that your superannuation payments are made and do end up in the right place quickly, efficiently and without a lot of the possible hiccups possible in manually forwarding superannuation monies.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What Will They Think of Next?

I have heard about nearly everything being spread on toast, vegemite, honey, jam, and the rest even cheese. What about burning the news on toast? Yes, someone has invented a toasting gadget to connect to the Internet, load the news and burn a couple of stories onto a slice of bread to make it into toast. Makes you wonder what will be invented next!

Well, there is no need to invent anything more to make sure superannuation payment goes quickly and smoothly because we have got Superconnect to do that. Superconnect can save you time, money and effort in superannaution payment.

All you need to do is to go and register on the superconnect site and within 2 to 3 days you can be saving yourself such a lot of time, effort and money.

So when you are having toast next time think about the time saving you could be having in reading your toast before devouring it. You will have a much quieter and civil breakfast when you know that you can save so much time at work using Superconnect.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Training Costs: Evil Necessity

I think you would agree with me that training in your organization is a cost that seems to go nowhere. It is as one might say "An evil necessity." But why is training a necessity?

It seems that business activity these days is rather a complex set of behaviours. There are all manner of complex things these days. Just using a computer in your organization is set up so that your company can do business in its own particular way. In the accounting department you have all manner of complex things to do.

Perhaps one of the most complex things you do is pay superannuation contributions on behalf of your employees. With the fact that each employee can now choose her/his own superannuation fund, it all becomes so complex that it can take up a huge amount of time. And if you have to hand over the payment of superannuation contributions to another staff member the amount of time to train the other person to complete contribution payments is a huge time sink.

The fact is paying superannuation contributions need not be such a time sink. You could subscribe to Superconnect and simplify all this. In fact, once you use superconnect handing over to someone else will be easy. No training time needed it is that simple. So, I urge you, to simplify the way you do things you need to Superconnect your superannuation contributions. You will be able to reduce one of those complexities in your business activity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Superconnect Your Super

We would like to think that the Superconnect Clearing House is the place for all employers to make Superannuation contributions easy. And we are receiving confirmation of that fact as employers discover us and find how easy it is to make superannuation contributions through us.

Today I was talking to a couple of employers with 100 or so employees each. The discussion introducing Superconnect usually takes about 5 minutes and then the penny drops. One of the people on the end of the phone exclaimed, "Oh that is so easy compared with what I do at the moment. Where do I get started?"

The other person I was speaking to said something similar but added, "I wish I knew about this ages ago. You wouldn't believe how many letters and envelopes I have to use to pay superannuation each month. We have 100 employees or thereabout and I have to make up 80 letters, fill out forms, and send out 90 envelopes and a cheque goes with each."

Yes, I agree. Paying Superannuation contributions through Superconnect makes it all much easier. Just extract data from your payroll system or submit a spreadsheet, check online to see that everything is OK, and press the button and superannuation contributions are done.

You can find out everything about making your contributions through Superconnect by following this link.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Superconnect and the new world of "Chrome"

So a new browser was borne yesterday. Google unleashed its new browser that it calls "Chrome". And what a descent little browser it is. It makes the world of browsing seem to simple . . . a version of what it used to feel like browsing before all the bloatware. And what speed it loads each page. Chrome makes the browser sink into insignificance, letting each page be the center of attention instead of the slowness of the browser to load.

Well, what has Chrome got to do with Superconnect. Trying out Chrome on all the sites I use I was surprised to see just how sophisticated the Superconnect site seemed in browsing it with Chrome. Boy do I like what I see with Chrome!! And as I am on Superconnect quite frequently, testing new little enhancements, trying to break the system or whatever my task may be, I am enjoying the new found freedom offered by Chrome . . . freedom from waiting for the next page.

To put it another way, Superconnect just absolutely sings when using Chrome. Must be the new browser! I recommend you do two things . . . download Chrome and secondly start using Superconnect for your superannuation payments. The two work fantastically together.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What if we don't generate a payroll file?

Here is the question you are asking: Can we use Superconnect if we don't generate a payroll file?

Most definitely you can use Superconnect if you do not generate a payroll file of some sort. Superconnect has, as a second option, a web interface where all the data needed to make superannuation contributions can be collected, collated and stored prior to and after making a contribution run.

All you need to use the web interface is a computer connected to the Internet running a common browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox. You will still need to register which requires you to visit the Superconnect site, complete some online forms and send in a hard copy of your sign-up along with a signature.

Or if you wish, you can use Superconnect another way. Instead of using the online web form, you could amass all information required to make superannuation contributions on behalf of your employees by inputting all the required data in a spreadsheet. As part of the sign-up process you can forward that spreadsheet to Superconnect staff who will arrange your sign-on so that it will accept all the data necesssary in the order that you supplied.

There are at least two ways you, as employer, can forward data to Superconnect to automate your superannuation contribution payments.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Who is Superconnect?

Perhaps you have just found this blog and are wondering who on earth Superconnect is! Wonder no longer, I will tell you.

Superconnect is a business that was started in 1996 to provide superannuation solutions for businesses within Australia. Our company is wholly Australian owned and operated and is operated in the State of New South Wales. Superconnect solutions are available to be used by employers right across Australia, superannuation fund administrators, payroll bureaus and others who are compelled by law to make superannuation payments on behalf of staff under employ.

With our experienced team, meticulous processes and practical approach, we integrate technology with our knowledge of the Australian superannuation industry to provide accurate and effective web-based solutions.

If you are an employer and wish to use Superconnect as a means to effect superannuation contributions then you should register and begin using Superconnect. Registering with Superconnect is free. Once you register you can see exactly how Superconnect saves you money, time and effort in making Superannaution contributions.

Go ahead and register now.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Using Superconnect: Do-it-Yourself Funds

Since employees have had a choice of Superannuation Fund to which they contribute, there has been an explosion of Do-it-yourself (DIY) Funds. Essentially anyone can establish a DIY Fund. All that is needed to open a DIY Fund is to purchase the correct documentation from a company selling DIY Funds, have your lawyer do all the legal paperwork and have your accountant do his part.

What seems to be happening is that over time employees are exercising their right to choose which fund they contribute to, and often the choice is to set up a DIY Fund. This is creating, however, a huge administrative tangle of activity one each month for employers. Logically it would be possible for an employer to have to manually send contributions to as many funds as there are employees. So if you have 500 employees you could be sending contributions to 500 Fund administrators.

This is where Superconnect Clearing House comes into its own. All you need to do is to amass all the data in your payroll system, such as the employees' choice of fund, etc., and then Superconnect does the rest. No longer do you have to forward contributions, write cheques, complete forms. Superconnect does it all, even to DIY Funds.

In fact, Superconnect prides itself on the fact that it can pay out to thousands of DIY Funds now and even more in the future. When Superconnect Clearing House is asked to pay to a DIY Fund and the DIY Fund is not listed in its register of legal Superannuation Funds, Superconnect establishes communication with the DIY Fund and verifies that the DIY Fund is a legal Superannuation Fund and can receive contributions on behalf of its owner.

So solve your increasing administrative load by using Superconnect Clearing House to get all those contributions flowing in the right direction with little to no hassle.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Using Superconnect: Fees

You know, Superconnect is one of the best kept secrets in the Australian business world. Not only does it save time and effort in making superannuation contributions but it also saves a huge amount of money.

Let's look at the costs of paying superannuation contributions for each employee of yours. What does it cost? If you are having to complete paper forms, write cheques, and mail payments it is costing you a fortune what with all that administration time of your employees as well. It has been estimated that for each cheque you write, and the associated forms related to that you are paying well into the $30 to $40 per cheque and the related forms requird by the superannuation fund administrators.

Now with your employees being able to choose their own superannuation fund, there is a possibility that for each employee you have you will need to cut a cheque and fill in the forms, one fund at a time. Now that is a costly administration nightmare.

Enter Superconnect. No longer do you have to compete this job one fund at a time. All that is taken care of through the Superconnect Clearing House. And what is more the cost is now in the cents per transaction rather than the $30 or $40.

Have a look at the costs of using Superconnect. It will surprise you how little it costs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Using Superconnect: Payroll Data

Have you already entered all superannuation information to make contributions payments into your payroll system? Yes, is the answer most people give. That means you are already prepared to use the Superconnect System.

Regardless of your payroll system all you need to do to start using Superconnect is to register, and then nominate the payroll system you are using and send us an export of superannuation data from your payroll system. Then within a short time you will be sent an email giving you the details of where to get started.

Yes, that is right, you do not need to key in any details into the Superconnect System, all we need to make payments on your behalf is to upload your payroll export data and the Superconnect System will do the rest.

This means that the Superconnect System will ingest your file, extract the relevant information and setup a file ready to be sent to the Superconnect Clearing House. Before you send the file to the clearing house you can inspect the details of all payments and you can even make some modifications if needed. Then you simply send the data to the clearing house and all payments will be made on your behalf.

We call the system a "straight-through-processing" system, because the data you already have in your payroll system can be sent straight through from your payroll system to the relevant Superannuation Administrators. This eliminates any errors. There is no further keying in of data from your end and the Superannuation Administrators accept from the Superconnect Clearing House the data electronically. Gone is the need for paper forms to be filled in, no cheques to deliver and all is done for you.

To register on the Superconnect System to get started all you need is to go to this address and register: https://superconnect.com.au/employer/Reg.asp

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Using Superconnect: Improved Workflow

One of the more remarkable aspects of Superconnect is the way it simplifies your work-flow when preparing to make superannuation contributions.

Take full control of contribution payments and employee details using our intuitive interface. Superconnect helps you to easily manage superannuation payments by offering the following benefits:

  • contribution payment details extracted from your existing payroll software
  • keeps history of payments for all employees in one place
  • remembers the fund each employee is assigned to for each contribution type
  • remembers the super amount for a selected period
  • Direct Debit payments
  • full compliance with Choice of Fund
  • no-fuss DIY Fund payments
  • no more cheques or paperwork

You have control over all employee data and can process as-you-go saving time spent on reconciling employee contribution data at the end of the quarter. You control this online process and we retain all your records in your own secure instance within Superconnect.

Want to register to use Superconnect? Registration is free. Go to http://www.superconnect.com.au/employer/Reg.asp to register.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More About Superconnnect Security

What I wanted to talk about today is the way we keep Superconnect a very secure site. The first thing you should know is that all communication you have with Superconnect is all encrypted.

To make sure you are on the correct site you should be aware of the address to which your browser is pointed. If the address shows as anything other than the following address, you may be on the wrong site. The address that should be in your browser when newly pointing to the Superconnect site is: http://www.superconnect.com.au/default.asp. Note this address has the "www" in it. While you can also arrive at the Superconnect site with an address missing the "www" we suggest that you always include the "www" to make sure you are on the correct site.

Second thing I need to mention is that if you receive an email that seems to be from Superconnect asking you to log into the Superconnect Clearing House please disregard that email. If you do receive a request in an email to log into the Suerconnect site you can rest assured that we will never send such an email to you. Most likely the email will have an erroneus address and when you input your username and password for the Superconnect site you will have just given away your details for scammers to use your access to Superconnect.

So never use a link from within an email to arrive at the Superconnect site. Always enter the address yourself and when you have arrived at the login page make sure that the little padlock is shown to be closed/locked.

In practice, if you ensure that you always use the exact address and making sure never to follow a link in an email that seems to be from Superconnect you will be very sure of your security when using our site.

Using Superconnect: Secure Access

So you have heard about this very direct way to forward superannuation contributions called Superconnect. But, you may ask, how secure is this method of paying superannuation contributions?

What you are really asking is whether all these employee details we will be entering into the system can be hijacked by anyone else on the web.

I can assure you that the Superconnect service is just as secure as doing Internet banking. Superconnect uses the same bank strength encryption as any bank uses. You can log onto the Superconnect service using Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari. When you do log on, make sure that the little padlock graphic is showing to indicate that you are working securely online.

So, in short, Superconnect makes it easy for employers to make contributions using a standard browser via an Internet connection. Access to Superconnect is protected by bank-strength 128-bit encryption.

Need we say anything more about security? Yes, there are some other aspects to security that we will mention in another entry to this blog. Next we will talk about links in emails we send to customers.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What if we don't do wages electronically?

Good news, even if you don't do wages electronically you can still use the Superconnect Clearing House to pay your employees' superannuation contributions. Superconnect offers you a web interface complete with an e-form to setup all information required to complete superannuation contributions.

And it gets better, all data you enter via the Superconnect Clearing House web form is saved in the system. So next month when it comes time to pay superannuation contributions, all the data is there and simply needs any updates, or if there are no updates or changes to the information, you simply use the data in the system to create this next month's payments.

Of course you can use the system to pay superannuation payments quarterly or monthly whichever you choose.

To complete a superannuation contribution on behalf of your employees you will need the following information to complete the payment: name of employee, address, date of birth (DOB), tax file number (TFN), occupation, salary, salary type, and you will also need to know the superannuation fund, product to which the employee is subscribed, and the amounts of each contribution.

Once you have all the information for an employee making a superannuation contribution payment is simple. Why not try the system yourself to see how it works. You can register to use the system and there is no payment required until you actually use the system to make a payment. So why not try it today?

Go to this url to register: www.superconnect.com.au/employer/Reg.asp

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What if you use a spreadsheet to do wages?

One of our prospective clients caught my attention the other day asking if Superconnect Clearing House could be used if payroll information is captured in an Excel Spreadsheet. That is a very good question.

And the answer is really simple. Yes, even if you only use a spreadsheet to capture payroll information, you can use that to make Superannuation Contributions on behalf of your employees. All you do is to supply the spreadsheet to the Superconnect technical department and we will map that to our database. From then on you simply can upload the spreadsheet when you are ready to make a payment and all the relevant data for superannuation contributions will be captured by the Superconnect system.

Superconnect offers you the capability of mapping any file type to the Superconnect system. Regardless as to whether you are using MicrOPay, KwikPay, Attache, WinPay, QuickenPayroll, or any other system, Superconnect can quickly map the ouput of your system to the Superconnect database.

During the registration process you will be able to provide Superconnect with a sample file from your system and this can easily be mapped. Why not register today and start saving yourself a whole lot of time and money?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who is Superconnect?

Superconnect is a business dedicated to provide superannuation solutions to businesses within Australia. It was initially started as EC-Pay Pty Ltd and now uses the trading name of Superconnect.

EC-Pay Pty Ltd was first established in 1999 and has followed a sound path of development to now have invested millions of dollars into its core on-line transactional capability. Parent company Max eCommerce Pty Ltd owns 100% of its shares.

The system facilitates on line banking strength secure and straight through processing of both data and financial superannuation contributions from an employer's payroll file and bank to the relevant super fund administrator and its bank. Trading as “Superconnect”, EC-Pay Pty Ltd has a range of customers performing hundreds of thousand of transactions annually.

So, what does this mean to you our potential customer?

What you should know is that Superconnect is dedicated to one thing alone, and that is operating its clearing house so that your superannuation contributions arrive at its destination fund administrator in a timely manner.

By using the Superconnect system you can rest assured that those contibutions will automatically be sent through the system, so that within a very short time, your contribution data is received electronically by the fund administrator and that the relevant money will be deducted from your bank and sent directly to the fund administrator's bank account.

Superconnect even sends transactions to "do-it-yourself" funds. Once we receive a request for money to be sent to a "do-it-yourself" fund, we verify that the fund exists, and we verify the method of communicating with that fund in order to send the data that supports the banking transaction.

Even though we only have one office at St Leonards in the north of Sydney, we offer a service to any business within Australia. If you want to know more about us please send an email to info@superconnect.com.au and we will provide you with more information about who we are and what we can do for your business.

Looking forward to your email.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why Superconnect Clearing House Saves you Money and Time

If you are managing the payment of Superannuation Contributions you should have already realised how complex Superannuation payment has become. Because employees can choose whichever fund they desire, you will be increasing the complexity of making Superannuation contributions. Theoretically each employee can choose a different fund. What is more each employee can now choose to pay into their own "do-it-yourself" fund adding to the difficulty again.

This is where Superconnect Clearing House can help you. All you have to do is to collect all details in your normal payroll system. To make payments through the clearing house is easy. All you do is to export all the details of superannuation contributions from your payroll system and upload that to Superconnect. Superconnect can take any file format from any payroll system and once you have uploaded the data there is nothing more to do than authorise payment.

Once you have authorised payment, the total amount will be deducted from your bank and paid through to the correct Superannuation Fund Administrator. All details of payment will then be made available in your login section of the Superconnect System for you to check that everything has gone through.

Yes there is nothing more to do. Using Superconnect to make contribution payments is as easy as that.

Why don't you give it a test run? Go to https://www.superconnect.com.au/employer/Reg.asp.

Monday, August 18, 2008

How much is it costing you to pay Superannuation Contributions?

What happens in your business? Do you pay superannuation contributions manually. Like . . . do you write out cheques, combine those cheques with forms that you have had to fill out manually, and insert these into envelopes to be sent to superannuation fund administrators? If your business does that or something similar it is costing you a considerable amount of time, effort and ultimately money.

All that time, effort and money could be saved by using a clearing house. Essentially what a clearing house offers you is a place where you export all the contribution data, upload that file, and the job is done. It is that simple.

Once the clearing house receives that data it automatically creates contribution data and payment details. The clearing house automatically debits from your registered bank account the total sum of all the contributions. Those monies are cleared to be paid to each individual fund administrator and the relevant data is also electronically uploaded to the fund administrator's computing system. A message is sent back to you via the Superconnect site that the payments have been made and a confirmation that the fund administrator is in receipt of your data.

All of that is done for you automatically. You can even revisit the Superconnect site and see the transactions that have been successful.

AND what does it cost you to complete transactions this way? Just a few cents in fact. In fact, it is about 46 cents per member payment to send your contributions this way. Now that is a lot less than what you are currently paying to get the job done. It is that simple.

If you would like to register with Superconnect and test out how this can be done for you, please visit the Superconnect site and apply for use of the Superconect Clearing House at: www.superconnect.com.au

Friday, August 15, 2008

What is the Superconnect Clearing House?

Welcome dear readers to our blog, the blog all about the Superconnect Clearing House. First I think I should give you a link to our site so that you can explore and find out more for yourself. Yes, we are Australian and we offer employers a great way to save money, time and effort in administering Superannuation payments that are made on behalf of employees.

Here is the link to go to our website: www.superconnect.com.au.

What we can do for you is to provide employers a way to make superannuation payments simple. Do you have 20 to 500 employees? And you need to make superannuation payments on their behalf? And you make payments to a lot of do-it-yourself superannuation funds? And making superannuation payments is taking more and more time? Then Superconnect can definitely help you to save money, time and effort.

As the days unfold on this blogsite, I will tell you more about Superconnect and what it can do for your company. Keep reading this blog and you will learn how to save money when making superannuation payments. More soon.