Stapled Superannuation Changes

Many Australians have money in more than one super fund. That is because when a new employee does not choose a superannuation fund, their employer chooses a default super fund for them. When someone changes jobs and does not choose their own fund, this can result in having multiple superannuation accounts as new accounts are created for each job. Consequently, many people are losing track of their super funds and their money. In March 2021 there was $13.8 billion in lost and unclaimed super in Australia.

In the 2020–21 federal Budget, the federal government announced reforms to superannuation to try to combat this problem. Key changes took place on 1 November 2021 which places new responsibilities on employers. From this date, if new employees do not choose a super fund, most employers will have to check with the ATO if their employee has an existing super account, known as a ‘stapled super fund’, to pay the employee’s super guarantee into.

A stapled super fund is an existing super account linked, or ‘stapled’, to an individual employee so it follows them as they change jobs.

What your business needs to know
According to the ATO, an employer is required to request stapled super fund details for new employees who start on or after 1 November 2021, when:
• you need to make super guarantee payments for that employee
• they are eligible to choose a super fund, but don’t. This includes contractors who you pay mainly for their labour and who are employees for super guarantee purposes

Your employee is eligible to choose their super fund if they are:
• employed under a federal award
• employed under a notional agreement preserving state award (NAPSA)
• employed under an award or industrial agreement that does not need super contributions
• employed under an enterprise agreement or workplace determination made on or after 1 January 2021
• not employed under any state award or industrial agreement – this includes contractors that are eligible employees for super purposes.

You may need to request stapled super fund details for some employees who aren’t eligible to choose their own super fund if they are:
• temporary residents
• covered by an enterprise agreement or workplace determination made before 1 January 2021.

If your new employee chooses a super account they already have, or chooses your default fund, you do not need to request stapled super fund details for them.

Steps
1. Offer your new employees a choice of super fund
There is no change to this step of your super obligations. You need to offer new employees a choice of super funds and pay their super into the account they tell you. This includes contractors who you pay mainly for their labour and who are employees for super guarantee purposes. They may choose a super account they already have or choose your default fund. If your employee does not choose a super fund, you may need to request a stapled super fund.

2. Establish an employment relationship
Submitting a tax file number declaration or Single Touch Payroll (STP) pay event will demonstrate to the ATO that you have an employment relationship or link to your employee. After that you will be permitted to request your employee’s stapled super fund details.

If your employee has multiple super funds, it is not up to the employer or employee to choose one. It is up to the ATO to determine which account will be the stapled fund.

3. Request stapled super fund details in ATO online services
To request a stapled super fund, you, or your authorised representative, need to log into ATO online services and enter your employee’s details. The ATO will work out and return a stapled super fund, usually within minutes.

Penalties
Remember this only applies to people you employ after 1 November 2021. If you request information for employees who started before 1 November 2021, you may have your access removed for using the service incorrectly.

If an employer doesn’t pay super into a new employee’s ‘stapled’ fund from 1 November 2021, they may be in breach of choice of fund law and incur associated penalties.

New forms
The ATO has released an updated superannuation Standard Choice Form for employees to fill in which includes the new changes.

Detailed information on what happens when you exchange cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies, when a chain splits, or when your cryptocurrency is lost or stolen, etc can be found on the ATO website.