On the 1st of November 2021, the Australian Taxation Office implemented a new regime affecting superannuation funds, called Single Default Account or “Stapling”. What this means is that now everyone with a superannuation fund will have had one “stapled” to them, which will follow them around when they change employers, reducing the likelihood that additional and unnecessary superannuation accounts will be created.
Frequently Asked Questions: Employees
What does this change mean for me?
Essentially, not very much. If you’re in a job that you began prior to the 1st of November 2021, this new change shouldn’t impact you. Instead, it’s if/when you change jobs that the stapled super system becomes relevant.
If you only have one super fund in place, your current fund will be the fund the ATO has linked to you. In that case, provided you’re still happy with the fund’s performance and the fees you’re being charged, you won’t need to make any changes. If/when you move jobs, however, you can let your new employer know the details of your preferred fund which they’ll then pay your super into, or they can do an ATO database search on your behalf, find your stapled fund, and take the appropriate action from there.
To find out which super fund has been stapled to you, if you have your Australian Taxation Office profile linked within your MyGov account, you can login there and under the Super tab, you’ll find all of your relevant details. Alternatively, that is something we can help you with.
I’m not happy with the fund the ATO has stapled to me. What do I have to do to change where my super is paid?
If you don’t want your super paid into the super fund that has been stapled to you, you will need to complete a new Superannuation standard choice form and give it to your employer.
In the majority of situations, you can change superannuation funds at any time and provided you provide your employer with a copy of a Superannuation standard choice form, they will have to pay your superannuation guarantee into the fund of your choice. (Certain large organisations are exempt from this rule, however, so we say this with the caveat that your circumstances may be different.)
What if I don’t already have a super fund?
If you don’t already have a super fund in place, you have a couple of options.
1) You can do your research and choose a fund you’d like to join. We recommend you start by reading the Moneysmart website’s page on how to choose and compare alternatives.
2) If you’re like a lot of Australians, you might be happy to go with the default fund your employer uses, in which case you can tell them you don’t have a super fund and that they can set one up for you. Since the 1st of January 2014, only funds offering a MySuper product have been eligible to receive default superannuation contributions relating to new employees, so your employer’s default fund is likely to be a satisfactory option for you.
I really don’t care about super.
That’s not actually a question, but we do hear you.
For many people, super can seem like a “Future Me” problem or something that is boring, overly complex and all “too hard”. However, since a portion of what you earn will automatically enter the superannuation system, we urge you to be proactive about your retirement savings and keep tabs on what’s happening within your account. Some good questions to consider include:
- What insurance coverage do you have in place? Is it enough in the event that you need to make a claim? How much is it costing you per year?
- What is the asset allocation applicable to your super fund? That is, where is your money being invested? Is the risk level appropriate to a person in your stage of life?
- Do you have a binding nomination in place? If not, who would you like to receive your super in the event of your death?
- How much is your fund costing you by way of administration fees? What do other, comparable funds cost?
- How has your fund been performing in comparison to other funds? Do you need to consider making a change?
Since your super fund has to issue you six-monthly statements anyway, you may as well take the opportunity to have a look and see what they’ve been doing with your money. After all, it is YOUR money.
Who can I talk to about understanding my super information?
The best person to speak to is a licensed financial planner. If you don’t already work with one, we can refer you to someone who can review your long term objectives and provide advice and solutions accordingly. Please send us an email if you’d like to talk further.
Alternatively, you can always contact your super fund and have a chat with one of their financial planners. It’s their job to help their members.
Frequently Asked Questions: Employers
Are stapled funds a consideration for all employees or just ones starting with us on or after the 1st of November 2021?
While every employee now has a super fund stapled to them, as an employer, you will only need to search for a stapled super fund account if your employee doesn’t provide you with guidance on where to pay their superannuation guarantee payments.
Previously, if an employee dragged their feet with their super paperwork, you would set them up with a new account at your default fund and make payments there. Now, however, you must first establish an employer/employee relationship (either by lodging your new employee’s Tax File Number Declaration or by making a Single Touch Payroll payment to them), and then use your Online Services access to request their stapled super fund details.
There are, of course, some exceptions to the above that pertain to temporary residents and those covered by an enterprise agreement or workplace determination made prior to the 1st of January 2021, which you can read more about via the link to the Tax Office’s website below.
How do I go about requesting an employee’s stapled super fund details?
The Tax Office has outlined the process for you on its website, here.
Please note that you won’t be able to request any new employees’ stapled super fund details from between 11:30pm Australian Eastern Daylight-savings Time (AEDT) on Monday the 27th of December 2021 and 7.00am AEDT on Tuesday the 4th of January 2022 as the system will be undergoing maintenance.
Another Day, Another Scam…
If, like many of us, you’ll be taking some time off during the Christmas and New Year period, odds are good you’ll have more time on your hands to read/engage with social media. If you are also curious about cryptocurrency and NFTs (non-fungible tokens), you may find yourself trawling sites like Reddit and YouTube for more information.
In an effort to try and keep you safe online, we thought we’d share some common crypto scams and offer suggestions for how to avoid suffering a loss. The following is by no means an exhaustive list, but a good idea of the sorts of scams being run right now:
“Search for [Insert wallet product or website name here] on Google!”
This scam is a bit of a longer con in that, up-front, the scammers in question will actually provide you with accurate information to any questions you might have about cryptocurrency or NFTs. It’s what happens next that’s the kicker. Typically, after some back and forth, you might ask, “So what’s a good wallet to use?” or “What exchange should I sign up to, to start buying?” and more than likely the response will be, “Search for [Insert wallet product or website name here] on Google!”
Being the dutiful person you are, chances are that you’ll do exactly as instructed and click on a Google ad that appears to be for the wallet or exchange or website in question. The catch, however, is that the scammer/s most likely bought that particular Google ad and the website you’re then directed to is a copycat built to phish information from you or install malware on your device and steal money or cryptocurrency from you.
Google ads often appear at the very top of Google’s first search results page, making them appear legitimate. After all, if it appears high up on Google’s first page, it must be okay, right? No. Wrong.
As literally anyone can purchase Google advertising, we recommend that you scroll further down and actually try to find legitimate websites/exchanges/wallet search engine results (that is, NOT ads) and even then, proceed with caution.
You might consider setting up a credit card with a small limit that you use solely for online purchases, for example, which wouldn’t be devastating or inconveniencing to you if it was high-jacked. We also recommend that you don’t put into cryptocurrency (or any other scheme, investment or asset) any amount of money you absolutely cannot afford to lose. Crypto as it currently stands is high risk and definitely not for the faint of heart.
“Limited time only! Send our company 1 [insert name of coin here] and we’ll send you 2 [same coin name] back! Be quick! Offer expires soon!”
You will 100% lose your coin if you do this.
“Hello, I am an official Binance/Crypto.com/Other helpdesk representative. Is there anything I can help you with today?”
If you have strangers sliding into your DMs (Direct Messages) or Inbox initiating unsolicited conversations like these, odds are good that it’s a scam and if you transfer money to a wallet or exchange they recommend, you will be robbed of every last dollar or coin you have.
Some clues that provide insight into this being a scam are that, first of all, the communication will often be unsolicited and from someone you don’t know. The spelling and grammar will often be terrible, and any URLs/websites they send you to will look “funny”. You might be directed to co1nspot.com instead of coinspot.com, for example.
If in doubt, pause. You can ask a trusted friend/relative or us to take a look at the communication in question and provide you with an opinion. If the person communicating with you is pushy or forcing you to move quickly and make fast decisions, that is another indication you’re at risk of being scammed. You have every right to do more research and take your time before proceeding. Feel free to block or ignore the person messaging you and move on with your life. Better safe than sorry!
“I made [insert large and exciting sum of money here] by doing these three things! Do what I do and get rich, too!”
If it was easy to get rich quickly, wouldn’t everyone do it?
Again, this is a classic scam, usually as a means of getting your credit card information. If you do manage to purchase any coins, you won’t be able to withdraw them as they’ll be taken by the scammer in question.
“OMG, I accidentally sent you my wallet’s seed phrase! Please don’t take my coins!”
We don’t expect a law-abiding person like you would fall for this one, but we thought we’d cover it off, just in case.
How this scam works is that by giving you a particular seed phrase, the scammer is betting on you accessing their wallet which actually has cryptocurrency in it. In order to transfer crypto from this wallet to yours, however, you’ll be asked to send cryptocurrency across first to cover “transfer fees”.
If you actually fall for this trick, you’ll discover that you’ve just put crypto into the scammer’s wallet and because they’re using bot technology to help them pull the scam off, anything you transfer across will have immediately been seized. You are not getting anything back!
Again, by no means is the above an exhaustive list of common crypto scams, but if you’re new to the space like a lot of people are, we thought we’d give you a bit of a head’s up as to how “Wild West” cryptocurrency can be.
We’ll be back in 2022 with more information for anyone interested, so if you have any questions you’d like to see answered, please feel free to send as an email.