April 27, 2017

What are your superannuation obligations?

Super is money you pay for your workers to provide for their retirement.

As an employer, you must:

  • offer eligible employees a choice of super fund. Temporary residents are not eligible for choice of fund.
  • pay the minimum amount – this is called the super guarantee (SG). Currently it is 9.5% of ordinary time earnings.
  • pay super by each of these dates – 28 July, 28 October, 28 January and 28 April.

If you don’t pay the super guarantee for your employees, you may have to pay the super guarantee charge. The charge is not tax-deductible.

WA sole traders and partnerships in the WA industrial relations system should read choice of super in the WA system.

Which employees are eligible?

In general, workers are eligible if they are paid $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month.

You pay super for all eligible employees, including employees who:

  • are full-time, part-time or casual
  • receive a super pension or annuity while still working – including those who qualify for the transition-to-retirement measure
  • are a temporary resident – when they leave Australia, they can claim the payments you made through a ‘departing Australia superannuation payment’
  • are a company director
  • are a family member working in your business – provided they are eligible for SG
  • are over 70 years of age.

You may have to pay super for some contractors even if they quote an ABN.

Useful tools

Use the Super guarantee eligibility tool to help you understand whether you need to make super contributions for your workers (including contractors).

If your employee’s award requires you to pay specific entitlements or allowances (such as overtime meal allowance) you can work out tax and super payments for employees to find which payments are subject to tax withholding and/or super contributions.

For more information go to the Super for employers section on the ATO website.

Original Article: has a wealth of information for small business owners
© Commonwealth of Australia 2016 – Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

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