Choice of fund

In most cases your employees can choose their super fund, but if they don’t, you need to make payments to your default super fund. You must provide them with a Standard Choice form within 28 days from the day they started working with you. You need to complete section B of the form with details of your default super fund before giving it to your employees.

Which employees are eligible to choose a super fund?

Most employees are eligible to choose a super fund to receive super guarantee contributions. Your employee is entitled to choose their own fund if they are:

  • employed under a federal award
  • employed under a former state award, now known as a 'notional agreement preserving state award' (NAPSA)
  • employed under another award or industrial agreement that doesn't require super support
  • not employed under any state award or industrial agreement (including contractors employed wholly or principally for their labour).

Some state laws also provide for choice of super fund under state based arrangements.

Which employees are not eligible to choose a super fund?

Your employee may not be eligible to choose their super fund if you are required to pay super contributions:

  • under a state industrial award or preserved state agreement
  • under a federal industrial agreement such as

-         a collective agreement
-         a pre-reform certified agreement
-         an old industrial relations (IR) agreement
-         an individual transitional employment agreement (ITEA)
-         a workplace determination
-         an enterprise agreement
-         an Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) or pre-reform AWA

  • under an award or agreement that requires you to pay super contributions to a particular super fund
  • to the Commonwealth Super Scheme, Public Sector Super Scheme or another unfunded public sector scheme.

How can I find out if my employee is covered by an industrial agreement or award?

You can find out if your employee is covered by an award or agreement by checking with:

  • Fair Work Ombudsman (for federal and state awards and agreements)
  • The government agency responsible for workplace relations in your state or territory
  • Your employer association.

How can an employee choose a super fund?

An employee can choose a super fund by returning a completed Standard choice form to you or by providing you with a written notice that includes their employee identifier (if you have given them one) and the following information about their chosen super fund:

  • The fund name, ABN and USI*
  • The employee’s super account name and number
  • A compliance statement
  • Payment details for making contributions.

* A Unique Superannuation Identifier (USI) is used by superannuation fund administrators to identify superannuation funds for electronic rollovers.

Can I refuse to accept an employee’s choice of fund request?

In most circumstances you are required to comply with your employee’s choice of fund request, however, you may refuse a request if:

  • the employee hasn’t provided all the required information:

-         the fund name, ABN and USI
-         the employee’s super account name and number
-         a compliance statement
-         payment details for making contributions

  • the employee has nominated another fund in the previous 12 months (you can however, choose to accept their request).

When do you need to make contributions to the employees chosen fund?

If your employee provides a valid choice of fund request, you must start paying SG to the employee’s chosen fund within two months after receiving the request. Any contributions you make in the two months after receiving the form can be made to either your employer nominated super fund (your default fund) or the employee’s chosen fund.

You should retain the employee’s choice form for your records.

Where do I pay super contributions for employees who don’t choose a super fund?

If you've provided a Standard choice form to an employee and they haven't chosen a fund you must pay super contributions for your employee to your employer nominated superannuation fund (your default fund).

What happens if I don't meet my choice of fund obligations?

You could be liable for a 'choice liability' which is part of the superannuation guarantee charge (SGC). You could incur the choice liability if you:

  • don't give your eligible employees a Standard choice form within 28 days of them starting work
  • don’t pay your employee’s super contributions to their chosen super fund
  • charge your employees a fee for complying with their choice of fund.

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