What is super stapling?
As part of the federal Budget in October 2020, the government introduced the Your Future, Your Super package.
The Your Future, Your Super is a package of reforms that aim to achieve better outcomes for members of super funds.
One such reform for employers is super stapling.
How does super stapling impact employers?
From 1 November 2021, where a new employee does not provide you with a choice of super fund, employers will need to search for that employee’s stapled super fund using the ATO Request Stapled Fund Online Service and make their contributions into that fund.
A stapled super fund is an existing super account linked, or ‘stapled’, to an employee that follows them as they change jobs.
The super stapling scheme aims to avoid new super accounts every time an employee starts a new job and reduce account fees.
If an employee advises you of their choice of super fund, you do not need to request their stapled super fund from the ATO.
If the employee does not provide you with their choice of fund and there is no stapled super fund, you can pay super contributions into your default fund.
These changes do not impact existing employees.
Making a stapled super fund request
You may need to make a stapled super fund request when:
- your employee starts on or after 1 Nov 2021
- you need to make super guarantee payments for that employee
- your employee is eligible to choose a super fund but doesn’t
You don’t need to offer a choice of super fund to some employees but you may still need to request their stapled super fund details. These employees could be:
- temporary residents
- covered by an enterprise agreement or workplace determination made before 1 Jan 2021
Step 1: Offer eligible employees a choice of super fund
You must offer eligible employees a choice of super fund and pay their super into the account that they give you. Eligible employees can choose a super account they already have or choose your default fund.
Under the new guidelines, there is no change to this step of your super obligation. If they have provided you with their super fund details, you can pay their super contributions to this fund.
Please note: You can’t provide recommendations or advice about super to your employees unless you are licensed by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) to provide financial advice.
Step 2: Request stapled super fund details
If your employee doesn’t choose a super fund, you need to log into the ATO’s online services to request their stapled super fund details. Registered agents can also do this for you.
Before you request your employee’s stapled super fund, you need to submit either a Tax File Number (TFN) declaration or a Single Touch Payroll pay event to show that you have an employment relationship. To request a stapled super fund, you or an authorised representative need to:
- Log into ATO online services.
- Enter your employee’s details, including their TFN (an exemption code can be entered where an employee can’t provide their TFN), full name (including other given names if known), date of birth and address (residential or postal, if TFN not given).
You will be notified of the result of the stapled super fund request in minutes.
Your employee will also be notified by the ATO of the stapled super fund request and the fund details that were provided.
If the request was made by an authorised representative, the owner(s) of the entity will also be notified.
Step 3: Pay super into the stapled super fund
You can pay into your default fund or another fund that meets the choice of fund rules if:
- your employee doesn’t choose a super fund
- you have been advised by the ATO that they don’t have a stapled super fund
Bulk request forms will be available for those that need to request super fund details for over 100 new employees at once. The ATO states that bulk requests will have a service standard of up to 5 business days.
The first thing you need to do is prove that you have an employment relationship with the employees. To do this, submit a Tax File Number (TFN) declaration or Single Touch Payroll (STP) pay event for the employees. Once you do this, you will be able to request your employees’ stapled super funds using the bulk request form.
The bulk request is a .xls or .xlsx file that can be downloaded from 1 November 2021.
Adding details in bulk request forms
You will need to enter the following details:
Your Business details
- business name
- business Tax File Number (TFN) or Australian Business Number (ABN)
- TFN (exemption codes can be used)
- given name
- other given name
- last name
- date of birth
- postal or residential address indicator (P or R)
- address including address line 1, address line 2, suburb/town, state/territory, postcode, country
Registered Agent details
If you are an authorised representative lodging behalf of your client, you will also need to enter the following details:
- registered agent number
- registered agent ABN
Once the file is complete, you can submit it through the secure mail function within Online services for business or Online services for agents (if you are an authorised representative).
Once your file is processed, you will get a response through the secure mail function with online services. The response message will contain the file you submitted with the outcomes of the stapled super fund request for each employee.