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Stapling – what is it and what does it mean?

One of the changes to super that was included in the 2020 Budget last August, was that super accounts will now be ‘stapled’ to members.

General Manager, Distribution at Prime Super, Mark Ashburn, explains what stapling means and what it will mean for employers and members.

In the past, you might have had a new super account created for you when you joined a new employer, even if you already had an account with a different fund.

To stop the creation of unnecessary super accounts, the government intends to introduce a system where you will keep your existing super fund when you change jobs – that is, your super account will be ‘stapled’ to you. This new system is due to be implemented from 1 July 2021.

What does stapling mean?

If you are an employee, this means that when you change jobs your super fund will still be the same fund you had at your last job, unless you take an action to make a change. If you have never had a super account before you will need to choose one, or your employer will create an account for you with their default fund.

If you are an employer, when you hire a new employee, you must use an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) database to check if your employee has an existing super fund. If a fund is recorded, then you must send contributions to that fund, unless your employee asks for a change.

What are the implications of stapling?

While stapling will mean that fewer super accounts are created, there is no guarantee that employees are getting the best outcomes from their super by staying with their existing fund.

Prime Super’s MySuper investment option had a return of 5.2% for the calendar year to 31 December 2020 and was in the top 10 performing growth funds according to ratings agency Chant West*. Read more here.

Employees should regularly review their fund’s investment returns (to make sure they are strong) and fees (to make sure they are competitive). A good time to review your super is when you change jobs and/or when you receive your annual statement from your existing fund.

Employers will be obligated to search for an existing fund for their new employees. A new account can only be created with the employer’s default fund once it is confirmed by the ATO that it cannot identify a stapled fund for the employee.

Prime Super agrees that combining your super into one account makes it easier to keep track of and could save you time and money.

If you have questions about stapling, or anything to do with super, you can contact your local Prime Super contact or call 1800 875 639. We’d love to hear from you.

*Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

This article is current at the date of publication and is subject to change. It contains general information and does not take account of your specific objectives, financial situation or needs or personal circumstances. You should seek professional financial advice, consider your own circumstances and read our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making a decision about Prime Super. For a PDS call 1800 675 839 or visit the Prime Super Pty Ltd ABN 81 067 241 016 AFSL 219723 RSE L0000277 (Trustee), Prime Super ABN 60 562 335 823 RN 1000276.

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