This year has seen a lot of amendments and changes to the rules governing superannuation funds and their providers by the Federal Government that may have an impact on how you as an employer deal with super.
Are you aware of the changes to “choice of fund” rules that you might need to be aware of as an employer of new to the workforce employees?
Currently, as an employer, you may be paying contributions to your new employees into a default superannuation fund of your choice if they have failed to provide you with their own choice of superannuation fund details. This may be due to not having a superannuation fund (as in, the employee is new to the workforce), or as a result of other circumstances.
As an employer, you must provide all new employees with a Superannuation standard choice form within 28 days of their start date. They may also be provided with one if:
- They as an employee request one
- You are not able to contribute to their chosen fund, or it is no longer a complying fund
- You change the employer-nominated fund into which you pay the employee’s contributions.
If the employee holds a temporary working visa or their super fund undergoes a merger or acquisition, they will not be able to choose their super fund themselves.
From 1 November 2021, if you have new employees start and they don’t choose a specific super fund, you may need to request their ‘stapled super fund’ details from the Australian Taxation Office.
A stapled super fund is an existing account that is linked, or ‘stapled’ to an individual employee, so it follows them as they change jobs. This change aims to reduce the number of additional super accounts opened each time they start a new job. If a new employee does not have a stapled fund and they do not choose a fund, the employee’s super can be paid into the employer’s default fund.
With fewer superannuation funds being opened, employees are less likely to generate ‘lost super’ as they transition through their employment periods and various careers leading up to their retirement.
As an employer, you’ll be able to request stapled super fund details for new employees using the ATO’s Online services for business.
To get ready for this change, you can check and update the access levels of your business’ authorised representatives (such as your accountant or bookkeeper) in Online services. This will mean you’re ready to request stapled super funds if needed. It will also assist in protecting your employees’ personal information.
As an employer, you legally cannot provide your employees with recommendations or advice about super unless you are licensed by ASIC to provide financial advice. You can give your employees information about choosing a fund however, including:
- Why do they need to choose a super fund?
- The process of choosing a super fund.
- Your obligations as an employer to pay the super guarantee and provide a default fund to pay into
- How they can nominate their chosen fund
Remember, registered tax agents and BAS agents like us can help you with your tax and super queries. Come and speak with us about your options, and to ensure that you are compliant with your super requirements as an employer.
If you are a new employee entering into the workforce, and you’d like to know more about your options when it comes to superannuation, you should have a serious discussion with providers and conduct your own independent research on the funds available.