From 1 November 2021, if you have new employees start and they don’t choose a super fund, you may have an extra step to take to comply with choice of fund rules. You may need to request their ‘stapled super fund’ details from the ATO.
Stapled super funds
A stapled super fund is an existing super account linked, or ‘stapled’, to an individual employee so it follows them as they change jobs. This aims to reduce account fees, avoiding new super accounts being opened every time an employee starts a new job. If you don’t meet your choice of super fund obligations, additional penalties may apply.
What do to from 1 November 2021
You may need to request stapled super fund details when:
- your new employee starts on or after 1 November 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. This includes employees that are:
- temporary residents
- covered by an enterprise agreement or workplace determination made before 1 January 2021.
Step 1: Offer eligible employees a choice of super fund
You need to offer your eligible employee’s a choice of super fund and pay their super into the account they tell you. They can choose a super account they already have, or choose your default fund.
There is no change to this step of your super obligations. If your employee has chosen a super fund, you can pay super contributions to the chosen fund.
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
You’ll be able to request your employee’s stapled super fund after you have submitted a Tax file number declaration or Single Touch Payroll pay event, which identifies that you have an employment relationship. There is no limit to the number of requests you can make.
To request a stapled super fund, you 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, but this could result in processing delays
- full name – including ‘other given name’ if known
- date of birth
- address (residential or postal), if TFN not given.
- The ATO online system will use rules based on the regulations to work out and return a stapled super fund in response to a request.
You should be notified of the result of the stapled super fund request (on-screen) within minutes.
Step 3: Pay super into the stapled super fund
If the ATO provides a stapled super fund result for your employee, you must pay your employee’s super guarantee contributions to the stapled super fund details they have provided.
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, and
- we have advised you that they don’t have a stapled super fund.
A bulk request form will be available if you need to request stapled super fund details for over 100 new employees at once. Bulk requests will have a service standard of up to five business days.
To prove you have an employment relationship, you must first submit a Tax file number declaration or Single Touch Payroll pay event. You will then be able to request your employee’s stapled super fund using the bulk request form.
The bulk request is a .xls or .xlsx file that can be downloaded from 1 November 2021. You will need to enter the following details:
- Your details:
- business name
- business Tax file number (TFN) or Australian business number (ABN).
- Employee details:
- 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.
Once the file is completed, you can submit it through the secure mail function within Online services for business.
Once the file is processed, you will receive a response through the secure mail function within online services. The response message will contain the file submitted with the outcomes of the stapled super fund request for each employee.