Most Australians are able to choose their super fund. There are some exceptions that are related to employees under an industrial agreement or awards. You can find out more on the FairWork website.
When you start a new job, three scenarios can happen:
1. If you don’t have a super fund, you will need to choose a super fund. You can do this by joining a super fund yourself and providing the employer a pre-filled super nomination choice form or complete the ATO standard choice form.
2. If you already have one super fund, your employer can look up your account with the ATO and assign the super fund that has been stapled to you. Read more about stapling.
3. If you have multiple super funds, the ATO will determine which super fund will be stapled to you based on a set of rules. You can still choose which super fund you’d like to be paid into, by handing in your pre-filled super nomination for. This way you will know exactly where your super will be paid.
What if I don’t choose a super fund?
Your employer needs your super details before they make your first super payment. If you don’t have a super fund stapled to you and you chose not to nominate a super fund, your employer will be required to create an account with their default fund. This fund will then become stapled to you for future jobs.
I’ve just realised I already have a super fund and it’s not my first day anymore…
You can request to change where your super is paid even after you’ve started working. You can do this at any time by handing in your super choice form to your employer. Your employer must act on your choice if you’re allowed to choose your own super fund (see above).
It’s likely you now have two superannuation funds, consider if you’d like to combine them into one.
What if my employer doesn’t pay into my nominated super fund?
If you have checked that you are entitled to receiving super (read more here) and you provided them with a super choice form, here are the next steps you can take:
1. Find out where your super is being paid
A. Check your payslip
Your employer is obligated to give you a digital or paper payslip – find out where they are paying your super by checking the super fund listed on your payslip. If it’s not the one you have nominated, they may have opened a new account for you with their default fund.
B. Check for other funds
Did you receive any letters or emails welcoming you to a super fund? Check for any member statements or letters that you may have received.
Depending on how much time has lapsed since you started your job, you can log into your myGov account to check your super. Note, the ATO is not required to update this frequently, so it can be out of date.
C. Speak to your employer
Find out how often they are paying your super (e.g. monthly or quarterly) and into which super fund. This will help you locate your super account.
2. Choose where you want it to be paid by handing in your pre-filled super choice form
If your employer advised that they opened a default super fund for you and you don’t want that super fund, hand in the super choice form with the details of the fund you’d like to be paid into. They will need this to update your future super contributions.
For Cruelty Free Super members, you can log in and find this form pre-filled with your details under ‘Tell your employer’. You can either print off a copy or email it directly to your employer.
3. Combine your super funds
If you have more than one super account, you can choose to find and combine your super accounts into one. Having duplicate super accounts can lead to multiple fees that could erode your super balance.
If you are a Cruelty Free Super member, there are two options to organise your super.
Log into your Cruelty Free Super account and use the “Transfer my Super” feature. This is really easy if you have all your old super's fund details. Or,
Make sure you consider if you will lose any benefits (like insurance) that are linked to the account you’re closing. Consider how combining your super will affect you before you make a decision to transfer your super.
If you find that you’re still met with resistance by your employer and they haven’t met the super guarantee obligations, you can report them to the ATO. Find out more.
At the end of the day, super is your money. Sometimes it may not feel that way as you can’t access it immediately, but it’s incredibly important to organise your super while you are young to reap the benefits. Understanding your right to choose your super as an employee and knowing how you can take control of it is vital to your financial future.
This is general information only and does not take account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on it, consider if the information is appropriate and whether you need to speak to an accredited professional. When considering financial returns, past performance is not indicative of future performance.
This product is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited (ABN 49 006 421 638; AFSL No. 235153; RSE Licence L0000635) as trustee for Professional Super which is a sub-fund of the Tidswell Master Superannuation Plan (ABN 34 300 938 877; RSE R1004953). Professional Superannuation Management Pty Ltd (ABN 31 617 160 791; AFSL No. 499786) (PSM) is the Promoter of Professional Super, which is marketed under multiple brands including Cruelty Free Super.