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How Single Default Account ('stapling') works

Find out how Single Default Account (‘stapling’) works and how you can prepare for this important change.

Single Default Account (‘stapling’) means employers will no longer automatically create a new super account in their default fund for employees commencing employment on or after 1 November 2021 who do not choose a super fund. Instead, employers will be required to search for an employee’s existing (‘stapled’) fund by contacting the ATO (portal to be confirmed) and direct contributions to that fund. It’s important to note that if a member does advise the employer of their choice of super fund, the employer is then not required to contact the ATO to confirm the new employee’s stapled fund.

How it works

New employee scenario

Current onboarding process

Onboarding process from 1 November 2021

New employee has an existing (stapled) fund but makes no choice of fund when joining employer.

Employer opens new account for employee in default super fund and makes contributions to it.

Employer contacts ATO to find employee’s stapled fund and makes contributions to it.

New employee has no existing (stapled) fund and makes no choice of fund when joining employer.

Employer opens new account for employee in default super fund and makes contributions to it.

Employer contacts ATO to find employee’s stapled fund and when advised no stapled fund exists, makes contributions to default fund.

New employee has an existing (stapled) fund but chooses a new fund via an ATO Standard choice form.

Employer makes contributions to the employee’s chosen fund.

Employer makes contributions to the employee’s chosen fund.


What happens if there is no stapled fund?

Where there is no stapled fund and no other fund nominated, super contributions can be made into the default fund.

How do you find details of a new employee’s stapled fund?

You will be able to find the details of a new employee’s stapled fund by contacting the ATO. The ATO is currently designing a solution for the employer superannuation account stapling service.

What happens if the employee has multiple existing funds?

Where a member has multiple existing funds, the ATO will apply tiebreaker rules to identify the stapled fund. The rules consider the most recent fund identified by the ATO, the fund that received the most recent contribution, the fund that held the largest account balance and other factors such as when the employee became a member, or holder, of each eligible fund.

What happens if I have an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA)?

If you have an EBA in place and a new employee has not chosen a superannuation fund but has an existing stapled fund, you must make contributions to that stapled fund.

If the new employee does not have a stapled fund, you are able to open a super account for them in your default fund specified under a workplace determination or an EBA, provided the determination or agreement was made before 1 January 2021.

What about existing employees?

Existing employees aren’t affected by these changes. You must continue to make their compulsory superannuation guarantee (SG) payments into the same super fund account you do today.

If a new employee completes the ATO Standard choice form, do employers still need to contact the ATO to see if this is their stapled fund?

No. If an employee elects their choice of super fund using the ATO Standard choice form, you must make payments to this account. You do not need to contact the ATO to confirm their stapled fund details in this instance. Be sure to keep a copy of the Standard Choice form on file to demonstrate compliance.

What does this mean for your onboarding process?

The new stapling rules mean you will have to review the onboarding material you supply to new employees including their Letter of offer to ensure that these correctly reflect this change to choosing a superannuation fund. We will provide you with an updated New starter flyer with information for new employees on joining Sunsuper.

How do I contact the ATO?

The ATO has confirmed the employer request stapled super fund service will be a two phased approach:

Phase 1 – 1 November 2021

  • Employers will need to use the request stapled super fund service for employees who commence on or after 1 November 2021 and haven’t chosen a super fund.
  • A temporary solution for bulk requests of employee stapled fund details will be available for employers to use.

Phase 2 – 1 July 2022

  • A wholesale service will automate the interaction between employer’s payroll systems and the ATO when requesting stapled super fund details.
  • Uptake on phase 2 is voluntary.
  • Solution may be available earlier depending on design timelines with Digital Service Providers.