Stapling Super

What is a Stapled Super Fund

  • A stapled super fund is an existing super account linked, or ‘stapled’, to an individual employee so it follows them as they change jobs

Current Status re Super

  • Currently, if a new employee does not provide a super fund, an account is set up via the employers default fund


  • From November 1 2021, if a new employee doesn’t choose a super fund, an employer may need to request the employees “stapled superannuation fund” details from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
  • Note: If a new employee chooses their own super fund OR chooses the employer default fund, you do not need to request stapled super fund details for them.

You may need to request stapled super fund details for some employees who aren’t eligible to choose their own super fund.
This includes employees that are:

  • temporary residents
  • covered by an enterprise agreement or workplace determination made before 1 January 2021.

What you need to do

Step 1: Offer your eligible employees a choice of Superannuation fund

An employer will need to give eligible new employees a Superannuation Standard Choice form and pay their Superannuation into the account they tell you on the form. There is no change to this step of your Superannuation obligations.

Step 2: Request Stapled Superannuation fund details

If your employee doesn’t choose a Superannuation fund, you may need to log into the Online services (both Online Service for Agents and Online Services for Business) and go to ‘Employee Superannuation Accounts’ to request their stapled Superannuation fund details. Your agent or other tax professional can also do this for you.

The ATO will provide your employee’s stapled Superannuation fund details after they have confirmed that you are their employer. If the ATO provide a stapled Superannuation fund result for an employee, an employer must pay the employee’s Superannuation using the stapled Superannuation fund details the ATO provide you.

Step 3: Pay Superannuation into a default fund

An employer can pay into a default fund, or another fund that meets the choice of fund obligations if:

  • The employee doesn’t choose a Superannuation fund.
  • The ATO have advised you that the employee doesn’t have a stapled Superannuation fund.

Initial steps prior to requesting stapled super fund details

  • Before you can request stapled super fund details from using ATO online services, you need to have offered all eligible employees a choice of super fund.
  • Before a response can be provided, the ATO will need to be able to confirm that an employment relationship exists. There is no limit to the number of requests you can

You’ll be able to request your employee’s stapled super fund details after you have either:

  • submitted a Tax file number declaration or
  • finalised a Single Touch Payroll (STP) pay event

There may be circumstances where you won’t be able to establish an employment relationship or link before requesting stapled super fund details from the ATO. The ATO have identified a number of scenarios and what you will need to do. It is up to each employer to determine the best option within their business practices.

These include:

Request stapled super fund details in ATO online services

To request a stapled super fund, you, or your authorised representative, need to:

  1. Log into ATO online services for business.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Employee super account’ screen via the ‘Employees’ menu and select ‘Request’ to open the form.
  3. Enter your employee’s details, including their
    1. TFN – an exemption code can be entered where an employee can’t provide their TFN, but this could result in processing delays
    2. full name – including ‘other given name’ if known
    3. date of birth
    4. address (residential or postal), if TFN not given.
  4.  Read and click the declaration to sign it. You’ll also be able to tick a box under ‘more employees to request?’ to request stapled super fund details for additional employees
  5. Submit your request.

Registered Tax or BAS agents can also complete this for you.

You should be notified of the result of the stapled super fund request (on-screen) within minutes.

The ATO notify your employee of the stapled super fund request and the fund details they have provided. If the request was made on your behalf by an authorised representative, they will notify you of the outcome of that request.

Make a bulk request

A bulk request form can be completed if you need to request stapled super fund details for over 100 new employees at once. Bulk requests will have a service standard of up to five business days.  Before you can submit the request, ensure you have an employment relationship link with each of the new employees.

You can download the Stapled super fund bulk request (XLSX, 352KB) and complete the information required within that form.

Once the file is completed, you or your authorised representative can submit it through the secure mail function using ATO online services.

It is important to note:

  • only one form should be submitted per request
  • if you are a member of a consolidated group, each entity must submit their own forms separately
  • only an authorised person can submit a request.

Once the file is processed, you will receive a response through the secure mail function within online services. The response message will contain the file submitted to the ATO with the outcomes of the stapled super fund request for each employee.

What if you haven’t made a request when you should

The ATO will help and support employers in the first instance as this change is introduced.

You may have to pay the choice shortfall penalty (which is the additional super guarantee charge) if you contributed to your default fund without making a stapled super fund request.

You should immediately request a stapled super fund for your employee and begin making contributions to the fund that is returned in response to your request.

To avoid the choice shortfall penalty, make sure:

  • you request the stapled super fund details for your employee as soon as possible if they have not provided you with their choice of fund
  • you pay the employee’s full super guarantee contribution to the stapled super fund we return to you in the request
  • pay the contribution to the stapled super fund by the quarterly due date.

Watch the replay of our information session here: