A spokesman for an alliance formed by seven member administrators, which aims to collaborate to deliver Superstream initiatives, recognises there are some notable absences from its ranks but that it’s more important to get an industry-led response happening now.
Nigel McCammon, a veteran of Colonial First State’s backoffice, said the Affiliation of Superannuation Practitioners (ASP) had been formed by two existing alliances working toward the standardisation of super transactions.
These are swimEC, the long-running Financial Services Council/ASFA/FPA project which includes retail master trust administrators BT, AMP , MLC and Colonial First State; and the Super Efficiency Affiliation, which has standardised rollover processing between the three largest administrators of industry and public sector funds, Pillar, SuperPartners and AAS.
McCammon said the four retail majors had tried to set up standardised super transactions between themselves in 2002, but with no other participants providing critical mass, “the environment just wasn’t right – the business case didn’t stack up”.
Today, however, the involvement of the three major industry fund administrators means that ASP represents “well over 50 per cent” of members in Australia.
“It’s been a lot easier for us all to go to our respective boards and prove the opportunity for collaboration,” McCammon said.
With the super industry still beset by “cheques coming in attached to Post-It notes”, McCammon said the ASP would work hard to design an efficient and secure electronic rolllover process between administrators by September 2011. The standardisation of contributions processing would be next.
McCammon acknowledged ASFA’s concern that data standards and electronic protocols needed to be mandatory and industry-wide if they were to be effective – major corporate super administrators suc has Mercer and Russell are conspicuous by their absence from ASP.
However McCammon said the fusion of two existing alliances allowed the project to hit the ground running, which was essential if standards were to be ready prior to SuperStream’s enactment in 2012.
He stressed that ASP would only seek to harmonise the processing of super transactions “door to door” between administrators, and would not get bogged down in attempts to develop straight-through-processing solutions.