Private super clearing houses, the proposed Medicare clearing house, and payroll tax experts are sanguine in the face of the ratcheting-up of the super guarantee, in contrast to the technology meltdown that was expected with the Y2K problem.

“The increase to 12 per cent by 2020 will have minimal technical impact on clearing houses,” said Mike Fielding (pictured), general manager of clearing house SuperChoice, “and will, in fact, be good for our business because of the extra funds being processed.”

SuperChoice, which currently clears about $8 billion a year, would not be doing any software rewrites or upgrades for the first increase of .25 per cent which begins in 2013-14. “At most, there may be tweaks to address the SG age limit increase to 75,” said Fielding.

A Medicare Australia spokesperson said that “any rise in the compulsory employer superannuation contribution will not require changes to the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House system.

“The system is designed so that employers can enter the contribution rate into the clearing house.”

The payroll sector is similarly relaxed, said Jason Low, general manager of the Association for Payroll Specialists which represents about 6,500 payroll experts around Australia, working with systems such as SAP, Orion, MicrOpay, and HR3.

“Most payroll software now enables employers to change the variables,” said Low, “and so it’s almost a non-event, especially as its two years until the increase starts.”

Tracy Angwin, editor of Payroll News, said the increase would be both a problem and an opportunity for employers who will start to package super as a part of the whole package. “It can be seen as a tax on employers, but good employers can use this to attract talent.

“Employers will use this to be seen as an employer of choice, and they’ll be able to say this is part of our strategy to protect your retirement.”

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