In simple terms, an employee’s existing super fund is ‘stapled’ to them for the duration of their career, unless they choose another fund. This means your employees will automatically keep their super account whenever they change jobs, and their new employer will pay their super contributions into their stapled account unless the employee chooses another fund. The aim of Stapling is to prevent the creation of unintended multiple superannuation accounts from being created for employees when they change jobs and to prevent retirement savings from being eaten away by duplicate fees, which Rest is fully supportive of.
When does Stapling start?
Stapling will come into effect on 1 November 2021.
What am I obligated to do?
From 1 November 2021, an employer will only need to undertake a stapled fund search where the employee does not complete a Choice of Fund Form. Where an employee completes a Choice of Fund Form and selects to join the employers default fund, this will be considered as a valid choice and a stapled fund search is not required.
Failure to request a stapled super fund for employees, who have not made a choice, will mean an employer will have a Superannuation Guarantee shortfall which would be required to be reported in their Super Guarantee Charge Statement. The ATO has signaled there is provision for the shortfall to be reduced at the discretion of the Commissioner. The ATO has acknowledged this is a significant process change and will support employers to make the transition. Further details are currently being drafted and will be made available on the ATO website. As your super partner, we will keep a close eye on updates and keep you informed over coming months.
How do I find out if my new employee has a stapled fund?
From 1 November 2021, if your new employee doesn’t complete a Super Choice of Fund form, an online stapled fund form will be accessible for employers through the ATO’s Online Services. Employers will need to input information about their employees into the form and they will receive an online response as soon as the form is processed (expected within minutes). The ATO will provide more guidance on how to use the system over coming months and we will also keep you informed as new information comes to hand.
Can I search for multiple employees at the same time?
The ATO is developing a bulk upload solution to help employers complete multiple staple super fund requests at the same time. This is expected to be available from 1 November 2021.
Will payroll systems have a link to the ATO?
The ATO is also working on an automated solution that will interact with the employer’s payroll system when requesting stapled super fund details. The ATO expects this automated solution to be available for use before July 2022.
Do I need to complete the stapled fund search for existing employees?
No. The stapled fund search will only be required for new employees joining your company on or after 1 November 2021.
If I have a new starter that commenced before 1 November but I’m paying their first super contribution after 31 October, do I need to complete the stapled fund search?
A stapled fund search is only required for new employees who commence employment on or after 1 November 2021. If their start date precedes this, employers are not required to conduct a search for a stapled fund.
How does my new employee notify me of their chosen fund?
The current process will not be affected by Stapling. New employees can still notify employers of their preferred fund using the Super Choice Form.
If my new employee nominates their chosen fund, do I still need to complete the stapled fund search?
No. A stapled fund search is only required when a new employee doesn’t nominate their preferred super fund or complete a Super Choice of Fund form.
Can my new employee choose the default fund, and if they do will I need to complete an ATO search?
If an employee provides a choice of fund to their employer, including choosing the employer‘s default fund, the employer should make contributions in accordance with the employees’ Super Choice Form. An employer only needs to request stapled fund details for employees who commence on or after 1 November 2021, in circumstances where no super Choice Form is received.
What do I do if I can’t find a stapled fund for my new employee and they have not made a choice of fund?
In situations where no Super Choice Form is provided by the employee and the ATO cannot identify a stapled eligible fund for that employee, then you will pay the SG contributions into your default fund.
When don’t I have to go to the ATO to search for a stapled fund?
An ATO search for a stapled fund is only required for new employees starting on or after 1 November 2021, who do not choose a fund or complete a Super Choice Form.
If my new employee has never had a job before, do I still need to do a stapled fund search?
The obligation for employers is the same, regardless of whether this is an employee’s first job. If an employee does not complete a Super Choice Form, the employer must complete a search. If the employee has not been employed before, the employer will then need to open a new account in the employer’s default fund.
What happens if a new employee wants to choose a super fund?
New employees are still free to choose a super fund, including their employer’s default fund. Stapling is only relevant when the employee does not make a choice or complete a Super Choice Form.
Where an employee has multiple super funds, how is the stapled fund determined?
The ATO has advised their request service will have inbuilt rules to determine the stapled fund, which includes tie-breaker rules where multiple accounts exist. The basis for these decisions is outlined in the regulations. In the first instance it will be the account that last received a contribution. An employer will only have details of one fund returned to them by the ATO. Employees will also be able to see details of their stapled super fund in their myGov account.
How long will a request made via the ATO take?
The ATO expects results within minutes when employers use ATO Online services to process stapled fund requests.
What if our workplace agreement does not permit our employees to make a choice of which fund, they want their Super to go to?
An employer will not need to provide a Super Choice Form but will need to complete a stapled fund search for the employee. Where no fund is found, the e employer will need to set up a new super account for that employee in their default fund.
Is a wet signature required for the Super Choice Form?
This will depend on the individual onboarding processes of each employer, which may be digital, or paper based. If the employer’s onboarding process is paper based, a wet signature may be required.
Will any part of the YFYS Stapling process stop our ability to integrate the 'Find Your Member Number' tool into Digital or Manual HR Onboarding processes?
No. ‘Finding your Member Number’ and ‘Member Join Online’ via may add to the member experience are part of your onboarding process.
At what point does the employer need to conduct the ATO portal search (e.g., onboarding, commencement, first contribution etc)?
A new employee will need to be fully onboarded with an employer for the ATO search to be completed for privacy reasons. However, if an employee doesn't provide a Super Choice of Fund form then we recommend an employer undertakes the search upon the employee commencing work if they have received the employees TFN or immediately after the first pay cycle.
Are there any details on any proposed changes the Super Choice Form?
We are not aware of any changes at this stage but will update you accordingly should we become aware of any.
What if my new employee doesn’t have a TFN will the ATO validate the new employee's address against the ATO's records?
For first time workers who do not yet have a TFN, an exemption code will be entered, and the residential address will be matched to ATO records. This will likely result in a return message stating that no stapled fund exists, and the employer will therefore open a new account in the employer’s default fund.