stapling and your obligations

Stapling adds another (sometimes complicated) step in the onboarding process — but we have a range of resources available to support you.

information for employers


When a new employee joins your organisation, not only are they starting a new job — their move also provides them with an important opportunity to consider if their current super fund is right for them.

To prevent having accounts in multiple super funds when changing jobs, Your Future, Your Super (stapling) legislation ties employees to their current super fund (if they have one) — unless they make a choice to change. 




your obligations


What you need to do:
  • Employees can still choose the super fund they want. And it’s in their best interest to make an informed choice about what super fund is right for them. Your employees can choose HESTA using our pre-populated Standard Choice form in Why HESTA (pdf) or they can complete the ATO’s form. If you receive a choice form, you must make payments into this account.
  • If an employee doesn’t return a choice of fund form, you must contact the ATO to see if the employee has an existing fund. If they have an existing fund, this will be their ‘stapled’ account and their super must be paid into that account. You must make a separate request to the ATO for each new employee who has not returned a choice form. Only requests for 100+ new employees can be batch requested using an a xls or xlsx file downloaded from the ATO website. Bulk requests will have a service standard of up to 5 business days. See the ATO website for more information.
  • If no account is found and the employee hasn’t chosen a fund, you can create a new account for them with your default super fund.




how stapling works for employers


Employer stapling diagram



is your default super fund performing?


Each year, APRA conducts an annual performance test to help members compare super funds. The comparison includes administration fees over the past financial year and investment performance over the long term.

How can you look after your employees’ best interests?
  • Make sure you’re satisfied with your default super fund’s long-term performance.
  • If your employee has received a letter from their super fund advising they’re underperforming, encourage your employee to make an informed choice about whether their fund is continuing to meet their needs. Even if a super fund fails APRA’s performance test two years’ running, members already in this fund will still be stapled to it—unless they actively choose another fund.

we're here to support you

All employers have their own way of onboarding new employees. But we do have a range of resources available to support you in the onboarding process and beyond — including our new onboarding video to help your new employees make an informed choice about their super.

Watch the video: Starting a new job

David Logan, Member Education Manager at HESTA, talks about what happens to your super when you change jobs and some things to consider.

Watch the video 

Choosing your super fund

Your employees can choose HESTA using our pre-populated Standard Choice form.

Why HESTA (pdf) 

Tools and calculators

Your employees can access our helpful online tools and calculators to build their super knowledge at a time that suits them.

Tools and calculators 


stapling FAQs


Stapling aims to help reduce the creation of multiple super accounts, particularly when employees change jobs. When employees start a new job, they can still tell their employers to pay their super into their chosen fund using a standard choice form.  However, if an employee doesn’t actively choose a fund, employers must contact the ATO to see if their new employee has an existing super fund. If they do, this will be their ‘stapled’ account — and the one the employer must contribute their super to.

Stapling requirements began on 1 November 2021 — creating a new step for employers when onboarding new employees. 


If your new employee has completed all of their onboarding documentation without making a choice and has commenced employment with you, you can then begin the process of checking for a stapled fund with the ATO. 



Yes, you can use the ATO Standard Choice form or our HESTA branded version, which has been pre-populated with HESTA’s details if we are your default fund. Your employee can use either form to let you know which fund they want to choose.

Download our pre-populated form in Why HESTA (pdf).



If your new employee doesn’t return the choice of fund form you provided as part of their onboarding pack, you must apply to the ATO to see if they have an existing super fund. Our stapling process map (see above) outlines the steps you need to take. More information can be found on the ATO website.



When the ATO has let you know the fund your new employee is ‘stapled’ to, they’ll also provide you with the fund’s USI and ABN.


You or your authorised representatives can request stapled super fund details using ATO online services. Find out more on the ATO website


It’s really important that you take care not to contravene anti-hawking legislation, particularly when engaging with new employees about their choice of fund. This “hawking prohibition” aims to protect consumers from unsolicited offers of financial products. 
Find out more on the ASIC website.


Correct, the employee has effectively chosen your default fund. It doesn’t matter what fund they’ve previously been contributing to — you must pay super to the fund nominated on their choice form.



It’s important to contact your new employee as soon as possible to ask them to re-supply their chosen fund details. You may need to apply to the ATO for an extension to your superannuation contribution obligations, but you won’t be penalised if the delay is caused by the employee. 



No, you must wait until you have the information you need to pay the employee’s super to their stapled fund. You should be notified of the result of the stapled fund request on screen within minutes. If you submit a bulk request for 100 or more new employees at once — using an ATO xls or xlsx file available on the ATO website — the ATO’s service standard is 5 business days.

You may need to apply to the ATO for an extension on your superannuation contribution obligations, but you won’t be penalised if the delay is out of your control.


If there’s an error in the process, HESTA (and all other super funds) will return funds. We don’t have the ability to look for a member’s stapled fund via MyGov. Only an employer can request this information. 



Need more information?

You can find more information on stapling on the ATO website.



stapling webcast

The ATO's webcast can provide you with more information about stapling, including your obligations and any penalties that may apply.



Here for you

If you’d like further support or would like us to personalise your onboarding pack, please reach out to your key HESTA contact or contact our employer support team.