Introduced as part of the recent Your Future, Your Super federal government measures, super stapling applies from 1 November 2021 with employers required to play a key part.
What is super stapling?
The introduction of super stapling means working Australians will be attached to one super fund for life unless they choose otherwise. The measure aims to reduce the number of super accounts people may acquire throughout their working life.
The introduction of super stapling makes it even more important for employees to actively choose a super fund best suited to their circumstances and needs. Making informed choices about super reduces the potential to be ‘stapled’ to a fund that may not lead to the best retirement outcome.
How does super stapling impact employers?
As an employer, you’ll play a key role in super stapling with changes in how you onboard new employees and pay super, unless a state or industrial award prescribes where super must be paid. These changes don’t affect your obligation to nominate a default super fund to pay your employee’s super into if they don’t choose a fund, or have a stapled fund.
A checklist for onboarding new starters
- Offer new starters an ATO Superannuation standard choice form as the first step in your onboarding process and encourage them to consider which fund may be right for them. If your employee makes a super choice, have them submit it to your HR/payroll team.
- If your new starter doesn’t choose a super fund when they start employment, you’ll need to check whether they have a ‘stapled’ fund with the ATO. To identify the super fund your new starter is ‘stapled’ to, refer to the ATO's Request stapled super fund webpage for details.
- If they have a stapled fund, pay their super into it. If they don’t, pay super into your business’s default fund or the fund named in the employee’s EBA.
- These changes don’t affect your obligation as an employer to nominate a default super fund to pay your employee’s super into if they have not chosen a fund, and don't have a stapled fund.
How stapling changes your onboarding process
The infographic below allows you to compare processes pre and post 1 November 2021 when super stapling commences and provides more detail on where to pay your employee’s super in different circumstances.
- From 1 November 2021
- Before 1 November 2021
Frequently asked questions^
Will I still be able to pay super into my default super fund?
Employers only need to request a stapled fund for employees who commence on or after 1 November 2021 in circumstances where no choice of fund is received. If the ATO advises that there is no stapled super fund for an employee, you will be able to make contributions to your default super fund.
How do I check for existing funds?
From 1 November 2021, an online Request stapled fund form will be accessible through ATO Online Services for Business, ATO Online for Individuals and Online Services for Agents. Employers, or agents acting on their behalf will need to input information about employees into the form and will receive an online response as soon as the form is processed (within minutes). Employers who haven’t enabled online services with the ATO will be able to access this information over the phone.
How long will it take to process a Stapled Super Fund Request?
The ATO expects results to be available within minutes when using ATO Online services.
What if I’m onboarding hundreds of employees at a time? How will the ATO help?
The ATO are developing a bulk upload solution to assist with the large volume stapled super fund requests. This solution is expected to be available from 1 November 2021. The ATO are also working with Digital Service Providers for a solution that can be integrated into payroll software, anticipated by July 2022. For more information, visit ato.gov.au/stapledsuperfund
What information will be sent to my employee?
If the ATO provides a stapled super fund response to you as an employer, your employee will be contacted and advised of the request. Employees will receive an SMS if they have a valid mobile number available to the ATO and/or a letter (via myGov or paper).
The SMS will include:
- That the SMS is from the ATO
- The name of the employer who made the request, and when it was made
- Confirmation that more details will be provided via myGov or Letter
- Where to get more information on ato.gov.au.
The letter will include:
- That the letter is from the ATO (ATO letterhead in standard ATO style)
- Employer Name and ABN
- The details provided by the ATO to the employer in the online response
- General information, such as why the employer has asked for this information
- link to YourSuper comparison tool
- multiple accounts and impacts on retirement savings
- providing choice to an employer.
Can an employee refuse to have their employer use this service?
An employee cannot say that they don’t want this process to occur. Employees are also not able to nominate which of their existing super accounts is the stapled super fund.
^ This content is informed by the Australian Taxation Office “Your Future, Your Super - Request stapled super fund service” publication, current at 7 July 2021 and subject to change.
We’ll keep you updated on super stapling and how it works as the final details emerge through our online and news channels.
For more information on super stapling
For more information on super stapling, visit ato.gov.au/stapledsuperfund