Stapled super – find out what it means

17 December 2021

Your super account is now ‘stapled’ to you – which means if you change jobs your new employer will pay your superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions into your existing super account unless you choose another super fund for that purpose.

Before 1 November 2021, when you started a new job your employer would sign you up to their default fund, unless you specifically chose another fund, resulting in some people having a new fund set up every time they started a new job.

Now you’ll keep the same super fund whenever you change jobs (unless you actively choose a new or different fund) and your employer must pay your SG contributions into that stapled fund. Your stapled fund is selected from your existing super accounts.  

This change will mean fewer super accounts are set up, cutting down on paperwork and duplication and reducing the number of members paying multiple sets of fees.

Which is my stapled account?

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) determines your stapled account. If you have more than one fund, ‘tie breaker’ rules apply. Your stapled fund will be one identified by the ATO to be your most recent fund in the relevant period. If a fund can’t be identified on that basis, your stapled fund is the one that has received a contribution most recently. If neither of these rules apply, the ATO will apply other ‘tie breaker’ rules to determine your stapled fund. For example, the next rule is that the fund with the biggest account balance for you at the end of the previous financial year will be your stapled fund. Your employer will ask the ATO for your stapled account before they make a contribution for you.

What I need to do?

You don’t need to do anything if you’re happy with the stapling fund arrangements – having a stapled account simply means that you'll likely stay with your current fund unless you choose another fund or actively choose to open a new super account with your new employer’s default fund.

That said, if you start a new job, it will be important to consider if you are happy with your stapled fund and if it is the best fund for you. Some employers will have negotiated lower fees, or even pay   fees and/or insurance premiums, for employees in their default fund. So, it’s worth fully understanding your options.

Before making any decision about your super, you should read the relevant product disclosure statement and consider obtaining advice from a financial adviser, who can take into account your personal circumstances.

Are other types of contributions affected?

The stapled account rules only apply to SG contributions. Other contributions, including salary sacrifice and personal contributions, are not covered by these new rules. However, you can make salary sacrifice contributions to the stapled account if this is what you agree with your employer.

What if I want to change to a different fund?

If you want to change super funds when you change jobs (or at any other time), in most cases you still can. If you do, your new fund will likely become your stapled fund. You need to notify your employer if you want to change funds.

If you’re currently working, you can choose to have your SG contributions paid to your Suncorp super account by providing your employer with a completed Choice form. You can find out more about how to do this on our Changing jobs page.

Keep in mind that your employer may be able to refuse your request in certain circumstances. For example, this may happen if you have already chosen another super fund within the last 12 months.

Where can I get help?

If you’re not sure which fund to choose, please contact your financial adviser. The Government’s Money Smart website also provides useful information about what to consider and you can compare MySuper products using the ATO’s YourSuper tool.

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