The Superannuation Product Identification Number (SPIN) is the standard method of identification for superannuation products within the financial services industry. SPIN Codes are recognised by Treasury, Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and are a component of the ATO's electronic message standards for superannuation member contributions and rollovers under the SuperStream initiative that comes into effect July 1st 2013.
SPIN Codes have been used for many years by fund administrators and clearing houses to facilitate various legislative initiatives, member contributions, rollovers and other transactions along with many other functions and applications such as various forms of fund, employer and member reporting. For example, The Superannuation Contributions Tax (Assessment and Collection) Act 1997 (gazetted in July 2000) imposed a reporting requirement on both the transferring provider and the destination provider to enable accurate identification of both the holder and the owner of superannuation contributions. SPIN is often used instead of the Destination Provider Member Account Number when a superannuation provider transfers out superannuation benefits.
Importantly, SPIN codes identify and differentiate the superannuation products that are usually offered by a Superannuation Fund. Where a Responsible Superannuation Entity (RSE - the fund) offers a single product it will have an ABN and a single SPIN, if it offers a number of products (say personal super, an employer division and a pension) it will have its ABN and most likely three SPIN codes, although there can be variations depending on the structure of the fund and how it offers member choice and how it does its banking.
For employers, employees and payroll providers the SPIN is the number used on the ATO's Employer Choice Form to accurately identify the superannuation product for those employees that want to exercise choice of fund.
As electronic processing will be compulsory from July 1st 2013 ensuring the fund's SPIN Code is easily accessible will be important. Our recommendation, based on industry best practise, is that Trustees make sure that their SPIN code is readily available on their web site and in relevant fund and product documentation. Customer Service and other member facing representatives should also be aware of SPIN.
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