Superannuation Guarantee

In addition to employees' salaries and wages, employers are required to pay superannuation contributions on behalf of all eligible employees. This compulsory contribution is called the superannuation guarantee. The definition of employee for this purpose includes certain contractors. The minimum contribution is calculated with reference to each eligible employee's earnings base (usually their ordinary time earnings) and must be paid within 28 days after the end of each calendar quarter, although it is proposed to bring this forward to the time the employee’s salary is paid. There is no minimum earnings amount, although there is a maximum amount to ensure that excess contributions are not made. Employers must also provide employees with a choice of superannuation fund.

The minimum contribution rate is 11% from 1 July 2023 and will continue to increase by 0.5% each financial year until it reaches 12% from 1 July 2025.

Employers are generally required to pay superannuation contributions for employees if they are:

  • Under 18 years old, you pay it if they work more than 30 hours in a week and note that earnings amount is not relevant
  • Over the age of 18 (no upper age limit applies)

If an employer fails to make the minimum contributions for a quarter by the due date, the employer is liable for the Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC). The SGC comprises the unpaid contributions calculated on a higher earnings base, plus an interest charge (which is credited to the employee's superannuation account) and an administration fee. The employer cannot claim an income tax deduction for the SGC.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides the following tools/guidelines to help you understand and meet your obligations:

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