Super rules for employers

Super rules for employers

We can help you feel confident in your role and responsibilities when it comes to paying super.

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG)

The minimum SG contribution that you’re generally required to pay is 9.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings. When you make these payments on time you can claim them as a tax deduction.

This compulsory contribution is paid directly to each employee's nominated super fund, or default fund, on their behalf. 

When do you have to pay?

You must make payments at least quarterly. If you make a payment on time (see the deadlines below) it can be claimed as a tax deduction. 

If you miss the deadline, you’ll need to lodge an SG statement and pay the SG charge imposed by the ATO. 

SG contribution deadlines

QuarterSG contributions Due date
1 July - 30 September
28 October
1 October - 31 December
28 January
1 January - 31 March
28 April
1 April - 30 June
28 July

Want to use QuickSuper? 

SG payments can be made easily through QuickSuper, our free online clearing house. Learn more about the benefits here.

If you’re an existing employer, all you need to do is request access. If you’re a new employer, you’ll need to register first.

Do you need to pay super?

You must generally pay super on top of wages if:

  • your employee is 18 years or older and earns more than $450 (before tax) in a calendar month
  • your employee is under 18 and earns more than $450 (before tax) in a calendar month but also works more than 30 hours per week.
You may need to pay super to contractors even if they have an Australian business number (ABN), particularly where they’re being paid for labour or skill.
 
It doesn't matter if your employee is here on a work visa, works casually, part-time or full-time. If they meet the criteria above, you’re generally required to pay super.
 
If you’re not sure, call the ATO on 13 10 20 for more information.

How do I make an employer SG contribution?

SG payments can easily be made via QuickSuper, our free online clearing house. You can use electronic funds transfer (EFT) or BPAY. Clearance times for these payments are detailed below:
  • BPAY: 3 business days after the date of transaction
  • EFT: 1 business day after the date of transaction.
To make sure you meet the deadline, please allow for public holidays, weekends and your financial institution’s daily cut-off times.
 

How do I pay super when an employee chooses to make an additional contribution?

If an employee chooses to make an additional super contribution, such as a salary sacrifice, you'll need to deduct the contribution from their pre-tax earnings and pay it into their fund by the 28th of the following month.

 

What does 'ordinary time earnings' (OTE) mean?

Ordinary time earnings (OTE) generally include the ordinary hours of work plus:
  • shift and casual loadings
  • directors' fees
  • commissions
  • performance bonuses
  • paid annual, sick and long service leave
  • over-award payments
  • allowances.
What's not included
  • parental leave
  • overtime which is generally not included, even if someone regularly works overtime as part of their job.
For more information on salary or wages and OTE, go to the ATO's checklist.

Employee tax file numbers (TFN)

When an employee gives you their TFN, by law you must pass it on to their super fund. This needs to happen:

  • on the day that you make the first Superannuation Guarantee (SG) payment for that employee, or
  • within 14 days of receiving their TFN.

If you don’t pass an employee’s TFN to their super fund, that employee will need to pay much higher tax on their contributions, and you’ll incur a financial penalty from the ATO. Penalties also apply if you engage a third party who fails to pass on a member's TFN.

Reporting contributions to employees

By law, reporting your contributions to employees is only required if they're covered by an award or agreement that mandates it.

However, even if you're not obliged to, you might find that reporting can deliver other advantages like building employee relations or minimising employee contribution queries.

Choice of fund (for new employees)

Where a new employee is eligible to choose their own super fund, you need to provide them with a Standard Choice Form within 28 days of their start work date.

If your new employee doesn’t want to choose their own fund, you must pay their contributions to your nominated 'default' fund. You must also tell employees (within 28 days of their start work date) what your default fund is.

Your default fund must be a MySuper Authorised fund, like us.
 

What is Single Touch Payroll?

Single Touch Payroll (STP) is a way to report information to the ATO. All employers, regardless of size, are required to do this.
Learn more
 

What is SuperStream?

SuperStream is a data standard for making and paying super contributions that all employers are required to comply with by law. Employers will be compliant if they use our free clearing house to make super contributions.

Which employees can choose their own fund?

Individuals who can choose their own fund are those who are employed under:

  • a federal award
  • a former state award now known as a notional agreement preserving state award (NAPSA)
  • an award or industrial agreement that does not require super contributions.

Employees that are not employed under any state award or industrial agreement (including contractors who are regarded as eligible employees for super purposes) can also choose their own fund.

Which employees can’t choose their own fund?

Individuals who can't choose their own fund are those who are employed under:

  • a state industrial award
  • a preserved state agreement
  • a federal industrial agreement such as an Australian workplace agreement (AWA)
  • a pre-reform AWA, a pre-reform certified agreement or a collective agreement
  • an old industrial relations agreement or an individual transitional employment agreement (ITEA)
  • a workplace determination or enterprise agreement (these are defined terms in federal industrial relations law).

Employees who are in certain types of defined benefit funds or who have already reached a certain level in a defined benefit fund are also not eligible. Some federal and state public sector employees are similarly excluded.

What do I do if an employee doesn't choose their own fund?

If an employee hasn't chosen a fund or provided sufficient information, you must select a default fund for them, submit all their Super Guarantee (SG) contributions into this fund, and notify the employee.

This default fund must offer an authorised MySuper product.

How do I meet my choice of fund obligations?

You can meet your employer obligations by:

  • identifying eligible employees
  • providing them with the Standard Choice Form within 28 days of their start date or within 28 days of the employee requesting a choice form
  • paying SG contributions into an employee's chosen fund within two months of being notified of their fund choice
  • keeping records for at least five years of an employee's fund choices and payment obligations.

Need more information on the rules of super?

Contact us for help.

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