Tuesday, 21 December 2010 05:25

SuperStream recommendations able to benefit industry well ahead of 2015

The IQ Business Group (IQ), Australia's leading consultancy for superannuation systems and business processes, today welcomed the SuperStream recommendations into superannuation fund administration. The specialist consultancy believes that reforms are capable of realisation well ahead of the indicated 2015 target date for the SuperStream measures to benefit industry, employers and investors.

IQ's CEO, Graham Sammells, welcomed the announcement on SuperStream for the streamlining of back-office administration for superannuation funds. 'We have conducted engagements in the back-office of most superfunds in Australia over the past ten years and this is exactly the shot in the arm that the industry needs,' he outlined. 'The mandatory compliance measures outlined within the SuperStream reforms will bring about the level of industry-wide change that is required to introduce advanced automated technologies and systems into the superannuation industry.  However, we risk going backwards if the government and industry fail to make minimum data standards a top priority.'

The business benefits created by SuperStream reforms are a strong motivation for funds to act quickly now and begin the preparatory steps required in becoming SuperStream-ready. 'Funds that address the key areas of focus for SuperStream-readiness will quickly translate these operational improvements into competitive advantage - well in advance of 2015. We have worked with a number of funds that have proactively requested data quality assessment programmes as part of their ongoing administration performance. As a result these funds have commenced the necessary remediation activities that you need to establish a set of standards to benchmark data quality levels,' said Sammells.

As part of its consultancy to industry and Government, IQ has developed an implementation framework for superannuation funds to address the new and higher standards prescribed in SuperStream. For IQ it is important, even imperative, that the implementation framework be rolled-out in the correct order.

'The lack of industry standards for data, how it is formatted, distributed and its overall quality must be addressed in order to tackle the introduction of Tax File Numbers and advanced technologies required for administration efficiency, then move onto roll-overs and employer contribution activity,' he continued.

For the funds not currently considering the steps required to meet the deadlines for SuperStream, Sammells is encouraging them to review how their staff, processes and technology systems are going to be able to better integrate. 'System and process reviews need to be underway early in 2011 to accelerate the industry's overall efficiency levels. In fact we strongly encourage that the sub-groups in relation to SuperStream be formed - and meeting - in the first quarter of next year,' he concluded.

Within the Australian superannuation sector, IQ has created a niche reputation as the 'fix-it' firm. Today it maintains a team of expert consultants with hands-on industry knowledge and specific expertise for each client engagement.

Graham Sammells is the current chair for the ASFA E-Commerce sub-committee.

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