Proposed changes to superannuation - what you need to know
It’s been a busy time in the super industry the last six months with major legislation changes making their way through parliament. While none of these proposed changes have come into effect yet, we wanted to give you a breakdown of what you need to know and how these changes could impact you and your organisation.
In October 2020, the Australian Government proposed reforms – Your Future, Your Super1, to prevent the creation of multiple superannuation accounts and to ensure super funds MySuper products perform well. There are also changes strengthening the obligation of super funds to act in the best financial interest of members and disclose information about how they manage members’ money.
Some of the major changes include:
- A new process for choosing a fund when you change jobs, which will see employers using their employees existing fund, if they do not choose your own.
- An annual performance test on MySuper products that super funds hold.
- Best financial interests duty to ensure members’ money is spent in ways that is in their best financial interest.
1 Australian Government, Your Future Your Super, October 2020, https://treasury.gov.au/publication/p2020-super
Through Account Stapling the Government wants to ensure a new superannuation account is not automatically created every time an employee starts a new job. This is intended to reduce the number of multiple superannuation accounts and to help avoid any duplicate fees and insurance premiums on multiple unintended accounts.
For employers, Account Stapling will require you to source, from the ATO, a new employee’s ‘stapled account’ rather than defaulting them into a super fund. This only applies if a new employee does not provide a choice of super fund through your onboarding process.
The legislation is currently being reviewed by the Senate Economics Committee, with a proposed implementation date of 1 July 2021. While this implementation date is ambitious and much of the regulatory detail surrounding Account Stapling is yet to be defined, it is important for employers to understand the proposals and the associated impacts.
What does Account Stapling involve for employers?
- If a new starter does not choose their own super fund, employers will need to manually search for each new employee’s stapled account via an ATO Portal, one at a time. This will in time be offered as an integrated service, should your payroll system allow (contact your provider for updates).
- If an employee does not have a stapled account (e.g. 1st job or migrants) then contributions will be made to the company’s default fund unless the new employee chooses another fund.
Employers need to get ready for stapling
With the proposed legislation potentially coming into effect on 1 July, there will be little time for employers like yourself to get ready. And the impacts on your organisation could be significant, as there may be a requirement to manually search for each of your new employee’s stapled super fund details in the ATO’s system.
In light of the significant administrative burden that Account Stapling will place on our employers, we are looking to develop digital support services and tools that may assist employers with their on-boarding processes. We believe these new services and tools may help alleviate the pressure Account Stapling could place on your payroll team.
Super fund performance test
To ensure MySuper products perform well and are in members’ best interest. Funds will be measured annually, with underperforming funds having to inform their members.
This could see a number of your employees changing funds if their funds are identified as underperforming. If your default fund is identified as underperforming two years in a row, it will no longer be able to accept contributions. In this case, the regulator APRA will advise the Fair Work Commission – you may need to consider your options if that occurs.
Given VicSuper’s current performance as of 30 April 2021, if this test were in place now VicSuper would not be classified as an underperforming fund. In fact, VicSuper continue to be rated as a top 10 performing fund over 3, 5, 7 and 10-year periods^.
We will be on hand to help answer any general questions relating to super and continue to offer members access to education, guidance and advice, when they need it.^SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey, April 2021. SR50 Balanced (60-76) Index. The VicSuper FutureSaver Growth (MySuper) option was a top-10 performer over the 3, 5, 7 and 10-year periods to 30 April 2021. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
Member’s best financial interestThis applies a stringent test to ensure value for money from all marketing, partnership and sponsorship activities undertaken by super funds.
We’re here to help
We’re here to help you understand these changes and stay on top of your super obligations. If you have any questions about these changes and how they could impact you, get in touch with our employer relations team on 1300 878 737.
Speak to your friendly account consultant on 1300 878 737 (1300 VSUPER)