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For many years, employees have been able to choose a fund for employer superannuation guarantee contributions. If the employee failed to exercise that choice, the employer could create a new super fund on their behalf.

Over time, employees can end up with multiple superannuation accounts with multiple administration fees and costs. Intended to make this process more efficient and cost-effective, the government is introducing a new system of Stapled Superannuation Funds. Accordingly, under the new system, employers will no longer be able to create unnecessary superannuation accounts for new employees.

What is a stapled fund?

A stapled super fund is simply an existing superannuation account an employee already has. The ATO will staple or “attach” one superannuation account to the individual. That “stapled” account will receive all future employer super contributions. However, employees can overwrite the ATO nominated stapled super fund by choosing a different super fund.

When will the new system commence?

The new stapled superannuation system will commence on 1 November 2021. Note that Super Choice still exists for employees who can continue to nominate a superannuation account for employer super contributions.

What does this mean for employers?

Employers can no longer create a new superannuation account for new employees.

From 1 November 2021, if a new employee does not choose a super fund, the employer will have to request stapled super fund details directly from the ATO. This detail will become available to employers after submitting a TFN Declaration or a Single Touch Payroll pay event for the new employee.

How do employers request stapled super fund details for employees?

Stapled super fund details for employees can be obtained directly from the ATO in two ways:

  1. ATO Online Services. Employers will need to make sure designated team members have appropriate access levels to their ATO Online Service.
  2. Phone the ATO on 13 10 20 – only the primary contact for your business with the ATO can make a telephone request and must pass the ID checks.

Information required to make a request must include the following:

  • TFN or an exemption code (using an exemption code can result in processing delays
  • full name – including ‘other given name’ if known
  • date of birth
  • address (residential or postal), if TFN not given


What, on the surface, looks relatively simple has the potential to cause grief and additional costs if new employees do not nominate a superannuation fund.

If an employer has ATO online services already set up, the extra step to obtain details of a new employee’s stapled fund sounds easy enough. In most cases, it will be. However, if this process occurs regularly with many new employees, the extra process will increase workflows for payroll team members. As a result, the cost of administering payroll could increase.

Suppose an employer does not have ATO online services set up. In that case, there will be a setup process together with a learning curve on accessing/using ATO online services. Again, the cost of administering payroll could increase.

Of course, if a new employee exercises their choice of super fund and provides details to the employer, there are no additional administrative costs, clearly the preferred outcome.


Maynard Accounting is available to help business operators with all their ATO compliance and operating challenges.

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