Frequently asked questions
Who is SuperChoice?
SuperChoice operates a superannuation clearing house and Single Touch Payroll (STP) service for over 200,000 employers, representing close to 4.5m Australians, over forty superannuation funds and seventy payrolls.
It is one of the largest superannuation clearing houses in Australia, processing nearly 20 million transactions per month.
Why are we changing to SuperChoice?
As a result of the recent merger and integration activities, Aware Super has continued to roll out service improvements and provide the best solutions for our members and employers. We are now looking to establish a consolidated service offering to all employers, starting with a single solution for clearing house and STP.
The selection of SuperChoice offers the opportunity to improve the experience for employers and is our choice for a streamlined solution; designed to make paying super and STP payments and reporting easier for you, our employers.
Why can’t I keep using EmployersOnline?
EmployersOnline is the VicSuper clearing house solution. After reviewing options in the market, the SuperChoice solution was selected by Aware as the best solution to meet both our employer and member needs.
All employers using EmployersOnline to submit contributions will be supported to transition to the new clearing house before 1 November 2021, at which point EmployersOnline will be decommissioned. All functions within EmployersOnline are available in the new clearing house, with the addition of numerous improvements including the STP facility.
You will continue to have read only access to EmployersOnline until the system is decommissioned. This will allow you to view any response messages from contributions submitted in this system. If you require any historical contribution data we recommend that you download this for your records.
What are some of the advantages of the new clearing house solution?
The new clearing house offers you an improved and faster solution, which supports payroll teams to manage their own users and add new employers as your business changes.
Some of the key benefits of the new clearing house provided by SuperChoice are below:
- A simple interface with fast and easy registration and onboarding.
- Allows use of existing file formats (SuperStream SAFF and VicSuper Standard File Format VSFF).
- All errors addressed on screen – no editing files or double handling.
- Reduced manual handling processes and associated operational risk.
- Easy to use and learn system- and works seamlessly with handheld devices.
- Wider range of self-service reporting, and ability to create custom reporting for more organisational insights.
- Fully supported with User Guides, FAQs and videos.
- Simple editable view of all members details and contributions, as well as submission totals to each fund, prior to submission.
- Auto creation of new SMSFs (where details provided in the file); alternative new SMSF identified can be created post file upload.
Can I find out what month I am transitioning?
We will contact you with plenty of notice prior to your transition month. If there is a particular reason you cannot transition at the time allocated, please contact us once you have received our initial communication advising your month of transition.
Can I transition now?
To better support you during this process, we will transition VicSuper employers in small groups over the next 6 months.
If you have a reason to transition now or your business requirements are changing, we can work with you to find a solution to support your business needs.
How long do I have to transition?
You will be notified two weeks before your go-live date. From your go-live date, you will have one month to register and then you will be ready to submit your first file in the new clearing house.
At the end of that month, your access to EmployersOnline will be switched to read only access. You will be able to see your previous submissions. Your employer and member data will have been transitioned for you into the new clearing house, ready for your to register.
EmployersOnline will be decommissioned in November 2021.
What email should I use to setup my employer account at registration?
We recommend you use your own work email as the employer contact email in the first instance. During activation and registration, this email address is used for authentication, and is the preferred option for your username to help you remember it and assist us to support you if you ever need it.
You can update the employer contact email to an alternative, including a shared inbox, after registration in the Employer Maintenance function in the clearing house.
Why can’t a user have a generic email address?
Generic email addresses can only be used as the employer primary contact email address. This is held and can be updated through the Employer Maintenance function within the clearing house.
When setting up additional user records, these users cannot have generic emails. Each user must be assigned to a specific role to support your business to allow individuals to access only relevant information and functions for their role in the business. This also provides a clear record of who has completed what actions for any audit purposes that may be required.
The email address assigned to each user is used to contact them at appropriate moments, including when they need to reset their password – it is essential for the security of the data held within the clearing house that these emails are only accessible by the person it is intended for.
Who can I contact if I cannot log on or access the portal for registration?
If you are having issues with registration and accessing the portal, please contact us on 02 8256 4500. This number is only available during the transition months.
VicSuper – May to October, 2021
Aware Super (previously First State Super and/ or WA Super) – September to March 2022
How do I get access to the new STP service?
Single Touch Payroll is available for all Employers who register with the SuperChoice clearing house.
If you have registered for the clearing house, the first time you are ready to upload a STP file with the new Aware clearing house, there are some additional payroll questions you will need to answer. Once you’ve completed those questions, you can submit your file and will not be required to provide these in subsequent STP submissions.
The information you will need to register is below:
- Product ID: This is a unique Product ID given by the ATO for the Payroll System.
- BMS Name: This is the product name of the Payroll System.
- BMS Vendor: This is the business or company name of the Payroll System.
- BMS Version: This is the software version of the Payroll System used.
Why should I provide my bank account details during the registration process with SuperChoice?
The SuperStream standard require all Contribution Transaction Requests to include a refund bank account. This is the employers bank account to which any money that cannot be allocated is refunded. This requirement is set out by the ATO, therefore in order to provide the clearinghouse service, SuperChoice need to collect this information.
See the ATO Website for further details:
Money may be refunded because the member can’t be identified, the member has left the fund, or they are ineligible for the contribution type.
Previously, VicSuper Employers via EmployersOnline did not require bank account details, where the contributions were being paid directly to VicSuper rather than through SuperStream. All refunds were made by VicSuper to the bank account that payments were received from.
What happens if there are multiple ABNs to register?
If you are an employer with a single ABN, the employer data will be pre-populated and you can follow the regular steps to register as detailed in our communications, registration check list, user guide and registration video.
If you are an employer with multiple ABNs, please register the parent/ main ABN via the usual Employer Registration process. You will then need to contact the VicSuper Employer Ops team to connect other ABN’s to your SuperChoice account.
If you use the same ABN as other businesses or use a single ABN to manage separate employers (i.e. divisions, branches or locations) that need to be kept distinct, you will need to contact VicSuper Employer Ops to establish your account and user log in details.
What file format can I use?
By default, the clearing house uses the ATO SAFF and the VicSuper file formats (VSFF). It can also handle any payroll output format that contains the mandatory SuperStream data fields.
If you are using the VSFF, please ensure this is selected on screen before you upload your file. If this option is not available, please contact the VicSuper Employer Ops team.
What if I have an old or unsupported version of payroll software that cannot produce the ATO SAFF?
You will need to contact your payroll software provider and ask them to upgrade your software so you are able to produce a ATO SAFF file for submission into the new clearing house.
While we support the VicSuper standard file format, we do not support new employers setting this format up.
How can I see the status of my submission?
Every submission made through the clearing house will be visible in the submission history screen.
This screen allows you to filter by status, date and employer and will display the following:
- Status icon
- File Type
- Last update date
- User Count of members
- Expected $
- Received $
- Refund $
- Issue count
At any time, you can open a current or previously submitted file to see all the data. You can also download your original unmodified file or delete an unsubmitted file.
This submission history screen will show you the entire history of the submission from upload, right through to the date the money went to the super funds and any response messages that have been received back.
Can I backdate my submission – are there any restrictions?
There are no restrictions in the clearing house on how far you can back date a submission, although we encourage you to stay up to date with your submissions in line with ATO requirements. There is a six-month limit on future submissions.
How do I cancel a submission?
If for any reason you need to cancel a contribution that you have submitted, contact the Employer Operations team on 1300 878 737.
Will all errors prevent a file from being uploaded?
If there is a structural issue with the file e.g. a column is missing, then the portal cannot determine the file type and the file upload will fail. Assuming there are no structural issues with the file, then the file will upload and any exceptions, validation errors or validation warnings will be highlighted, that the employer should resolve as soon as possible to avoid any delay in processing.
Validation errors must be resolved before you can submit the contribution file. We recommend that you address all validation warnings prior to submission, however these will not keep you from submitting the data.
Where can I resolve these errors?
Errors can be resolved on the review screen - the member exception message or error message will clearly describe the error and highlight the relevant field(s) so the user can edit appropriately.
Are the payment methods changing?
No, the payment options are not changing. Aware Super and its providers overwhelmingly prefer their employers to use Direct Debit because it is the most streamlined method for capturing all employer information, automating the payment process and to minimise human intervention and risk of delays.
Please note that all Direct Debits are initiated by you as the employer – payments are only enacted when you confirm your contribution submission within the clearing house (i.e. there is no regular deductions made).>p>Direct Credit and BPAY options are available, but employers need to be aware of the risks of manual intervention (reconciliation) and the risk of significant delays where either payments mismatch or Payment Reference Number (PRN) information is not provided or not accurately provided.
Can we still use BPAY?
The new clearinghouse solution from SuperChoice will include the ability to use BPAY, however, we encourage you to consider using Direct Debit to simplify the process and increase straight through processing, or Direct Credit. This will appear during the registration process as an available option in the ‘payment type’ dropdown selection as Direct Credit/ BPAY.
What happens to refunds in the new clearing house?
In the new clearing house, you can now nominate where you would like to have your refunds paid, especially if you would like your refunds to go to a different account than the one you paid from. This may be important if your bank account that has made payments is not the same bank account for refunds to be paid into.
What is the difference between Direct Debit and Direct Credit payments?Direct Debit
A Direct Debit is an electronic withdrawal from your account by SuperChoice after the submission of each contribution file. This type of payment reduces manual payment effort and ensures that the value and payment reference matches your submission exactly.
During the registration process, to set up Direct Debit you will be required to accept the SuperChoice Direct Debit terms & conditions to allow this withdrawal to be processed. You can also switch to Direct Debit via Employer Maintenance at a later date – this will also require you to acknowledge the term and conditions and Direct Debit authority.
Payments will be deducted the evening after you have submitted your contribution file. It will take three days for this payment to clear, at which point SuperChoice will issue payments and contribution data to each superannuation fund.Direct Credit and BPAY
A Direct Credit is an electronic transfer of funds initiated by the payer, which sends funds directly into the bank account of the payee. This requires you to ensure that you pay the correct amount using the correct payment reference number, paid into the account displayed.
Settlement usually occurs within one or two business days, at which point SuperChoice will issue payments and contribution data to each superannuation fund.
Please note: Direct Credit bank account and BPAY Biller Codes will change – the codes used for EmployersOnline payments are no longer current. All contributions submitted through SuperChoice will need to be paid to the new bank account/ Biller Code. These will be presented to you at the end of each contribution submission.
How long does it take for a refund to reach your super fund?
Refunds are made from the fund directly to your refund bank account – unlike your payments to funds, which go through SuperChoice to facilitate individual payments to each fund.
If paying via direct debit, the funds will take 3 days to clear, at which point, they will be paid to the super fund.
If paying via direct credit or BPAY, the funds will be paid to the super fund the following day, providing that the payment is able to be automatically matched to your submission and the payment has been made prior to 4pm AEST.
Paying via direct credit or BPAY requires you to go to your third-party payment provider, and provide the following details:
- Clearinghouse bank account (this has changed from the bank account used for EmployersOnline)
- Reference number
If any of these elements are incorrect, it will delay the processing of the submission.
Note: Direct Debit is handled automatically by the clearinghouse, so there will never be a reconciliation delay.
How are refunds handled?
Refunds will be returned directly to your refund account (that you nominate during registration or update in Employer Maintenance). A SuperStream response message will also be sent to you and can be viewed in the clearing house.
You will receive an email that a refund message has been received, prompting you to login to the portal, to see the details of who the refund is for. You can see this information by navigating to the submission history screen, setting the status selection to ‘Fund Error Response’ and setting the data filters to an appropriate period.
You can click on each entry from the results to see the specifics of the error and refund amounts for each affected member. You can also download these entries to update payroll data as required.
You can then upload a new submission for the member containing their new fund or create a manual contribution.
What if refunds occur during the cutover period?
Refunds for a contribution submitted on EmployersOnline will continue to be managed via the same process, and you will see the response messages containing refund information in this portal.
Refunds for contributions submitted through the new Aware Super clearing house will be managed as above (How are refunds handled?).
Can we have different bank accounts for Direct Debits and refunds?
Yes. When you register, if you select Direct Debit, it will ask you to confirm the Direct Debit account and assume the refund account is the same. However, once in the system, you will be able to update your banking details and enter a separate refund account within Employer Maintenance.
If you select Direct Credit/ BPAY, you will be asked to confirm your refund bank account.
Can you reuse a PRN or does it have to be unique?
Ideally, the PRN should be unique, however, an employer can reuse a PRN after their first successful submission as SuperChoice will store the employer’s bank account and use this to match future submissions, rather than relying solely on the PRN.
A PRN will be generated for the contribution submission, however you are able to manually update this if you have a value you prefer to use.
How do I add new members?
For file uploads, any new members detected in your file will be added automatically, any missing data will be highlighted for completion.
For manual entry, you can click on the Add/Maintain a Member button from the Dashboard.
For file upload and manual entry, the Add Member button is available from the review screen in all submissions as well.
After any of these actions, a Member Registration Request (MRR) will be set to the relevant fund to notify them of the new member/ new employment, along with the Contribution Transaction Request (CTR) where applicable.
An SMSF has been labelled as non-compliant, what can I do?
The member should be contacted to inform them of the invalid status. It is the responsibility of the member to work with their accountant or directly with the ATO to get the compliance status fixed. The clearinghouse does a nightly check, updates and changes to SMSF statuses automatically update.
If you have any queries about joining us, call our employer services team on 1300 878 737.