What You Should Know About Upcoming Changes To Super In Australia |


This November, the retirement experience will improve for millions of Australians. How? The way you onboard employees and set up their funds will change with super stapling, a government initiative that is part of the broader strategy. Your future your super (YFYS) reforms. This addresses the common problem of having multiple super accounts and the resulting high fees, as Australians charge $ 30 billion each year. Instead, employees will have a ‘stapled’ account that will follow them as they change jobs, resulting in less account duplication, lower fees, and a positive impact on their future super balance.

However, employers will need to understand what super stapling means to them. With the busy holiday hiring season looming, take a moment to familiarize yourself with what’s new at Super. Here’s what you need to know and how to prepare.

Remind me how retirement usually works?

Most small businesses that pay staff are familiar with how to set up and pay for retirement, or super, Australia’s mandatory retirement savings program. Usually a new hire shares the details of their existing fund via the super pick form or chooses to use the default fund for their business. However, there will soon be a third of this process with super stapling.

So what is super stapling?

A stapled superfund is an existing super account that is linked, or ‘stapled’, to an individual employee and follows him as he changes jobs. The introduction of super stapling by the ATO means working Australians will be subject to a super fund for life unless they choose otherwise. This is designed to reduce the amount of super accounts that people can collect throughout their working lives and maximize retirement savings.

When is it going to start?

Super Stapling begins on November 1, 2021. This means that if a new hire starts on or after that date and does not designate a fund when completing a Standard retirement choice form, employers will have to look up the employee’s ‘stapled’ background using the services of ATO.

Why is this being introduced?

The current retirement system has resulted in an estimated six millions multiple junk accounts that can be a huge loss to members’ retirement savings. You may be one of the millions of Australians who have established their supermarket or discovered a lost account in the past. This change is intended to minimize the chances of ending up with duplicate accounts and the fees that accompany them.

How can I find and use the stapled superinformation?

Super stapling will mean adding an extra step to your onboarding process; this will be when you verify a new hire’s stapled account if they haven’t nominated their own. How?

  • The ATO has created a directory through ATO Online Services.
  • After logging in, you will need to enter details such as an employee’s TFN, full name, date of birth, and address to later receive details about your staple fund.
  • If the ATO search returns a stapled fund account for your new hire, you will need to set it up as usual. inside Xero and use it for your super guarantee and any salary sacrifice payment.

Should I make any other changes to my onboarding process?

With the busy holiday season almost upon us, it’s worth reviewing your existing onboarding process so you’re ready to go when the change begins. If a new employee does not have Completed a Standard Retirement Choice form, employers will need to have your details (including TFN) to find your stapled super account. Does your current process provide you with all the paperwork and information you need on time? Please consider if this needs to be updated (take a look at our employee onboarding guide by inspiration).

What about my default fund?

This process only affects new hires, so any team members already using their default pool will remain the same. If the ATO reports that there is no stapled superfund for a new hire, you will be able to make contributions to your default superfund (unless they are under a ABE or award with mandatory fund). This is more likely to occur in people who have never had super before, such as young people entering the workforce or someone who has moved from abroad.

What are the other changes coming to retirement?

Super stapling is part of the broader reform of Your Future Your Super, which aims to improve transparency, efficiency and accountability for the industry as a whole. Beyond super stapling, some of the other changes include:

  • Superfunds will be subject to an annual performance test by OPENED and you may not be able to accept new members if they fail
  • The ATO will create a new interactive online YourSuper comparison tool to help consumers understand if their fund is underperforming.

Where can I find more information?

The ATO has more details available in super stapling for employers. Also keep an eye out for future Xero updates as we will continue to update you on upcoming changes.



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