Generally employers must pay superannuation guarantee contributions to employees between 18 and 69 years old (inclusive) who are paid $450 or more (before tax) in salary or wages in a month. This applies to all employees with whom you have a contract - verbal or written - and includes full-time, part-time and casual employees.
You also have to make superannuation guarantee contributions for employees under 18 if they work for you for more than 30 hours a week and are paid $450 or more (before tax) a month.
Temporary Australian residents are also entitled to superannuation guarantee contributions under the same criteria as Australian resident employees.
Employees working overseas
You must continue to pay super guarantee for your employees you send to work temporarily overseas. However, if Australia has a bilateral super agreement with the other country, you can apply for a ‘certificate of coverage’ that allows you to pay super in only one country.
Contractors whose contract is wholly or principally for their labour are treated as an employee for superannuation purposes and are therefore entitled to receive superannuation guarantee contributions.
How much should I pay?
The minimum superannuation guarantee you must pay as an employer at least every quarter is 9% of ordinary time earnings up to the maximum contribution base. An industrial agreement or contract can specify a higher percentage than 9% but not lower.
The superannuation guarantee will progressively increase from 9% to 12% between 1 July 2013 and 1 July 2019.
Employees who don’t qualify for super guarantee
Some home help employees and people in certain government schemes are not eligible for superannuation guarantee, but you can make super contributions for them by agreement.
If you are self employed, as a sole trader or partnership for example, you don’t have to make superannuation guarantee contributions for yourself, but are eligible to make voluntary contributions that may be tax deductible or eligible for superannuation co-contributions.
Need more information?
The Australian Taxation Office has developed a tool to help employers understand who is eligible for superannuation guarantee contributions.
If you need further assistance, please contact us at:
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Carlton South VIC 3053
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