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Super is big business. With $1.3 trillion in Australian super funds and over $17 billion in lost and unclaimed super, it's important to make sure super is working for you. The Australian Government is making improvements to super over the coming years to help protect and grow the savings of all Australians. The first changes took effect from 1 July 2012.
Even if you don’t take an active interest in managing your super, these improvements will help your super grow and protect your money for the future. To make the most of the improvements, there are a few small things you can do now that can mean big things for your lifestyle in retirement.
As an employer, you play an important role in helping your employees save for their future. The changes to super mean there will be changes to your obligations that you need to prepare for.
Self-managed super fund trustees
Obligations for trustees of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) have changed. The changes are aimed at increasing community confidence and improving the integrity, operation and efficiency of the SMSF sector.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) offers a range of information and services to help people from diverse backgrounds understand tax and super in Australia. Information is available in English as well as other languages.
The Australian Government is progressively introducing improvements to super to make it easier for you to save for your future.
These improvements are designed to help you keep track of your super.
By taking a few small steps now, you can have peace of mind your money is working for you – which can make a huge difference to your lifestyle in retirement.
The changes will make it fairer for everyone.
Your tax file number (TFN) is the key to making the most of the changes – for more information, see Your TFN is the key.
Our online services have been improved so you can see and do more with your super in a few simple steps.
You can register for our online services and use SuperSeeker to:
To access these services, you’ll need to register online – this is an important security measure, and once you register you can access your information 24/7.
To register, we need some information from some personal documents to identify you.
Because we update our online information regularly, you can keep checking for any new accounts that we might find on your behalf.
Register for a secure login to access our online services and use SuperSeeker.
Already registered? Login to online servicesExternal Link
For more information, refer to SuperSeeker.
For help with registering for online services and using SuperSeeker, refer to our videosExternal Link.
To find out if you have any lost or ATO-held super, you can do a quick searchExternal Link – you’ll need to provide your name, date of birth and TFN.
For more information on super money we hold, refer to ATO-held super.
The address shown for you online is from your super fund. If it is not your correct address, contact your fund and let them know – this will prevent your super from staying lost. If your super is lost, it may not be working as well for you. You've worked hard to grow your super – don't let it deteriorate with unnecessary fees and charges.
If your new super account is not showing in SuperSeeker, you can still transfer your super money from your other super accounts into it – all you have to do is enter details of your new super account, such as your super fund Australian business number (ABN).
To take full advantage of the improvements being made to super, make sure your super fund has your TFN.
This will make it easier to keep track of and transfer your super, and find any lost super, or super we hold on your behalf, when you log on to our online services.
You can check if your fund has your TFN by looking at your super statement. If your TFN is not listed on your statement, contact your fund and give it to them. Once your fund has your TFN:
If you think your employer is not paying you the correct amount of super, visit Unpaid super for a step-by-step guide to the steps you can take or phone us on 13 10 20.
Two changes mean you will have more super for your future:
The compulsory super rate (the amount your employer contributes to your nominated super fund) is increasing in each of the coming years to help grow your savings for the future.
The table below shows how the super rate will increase from 9% to 12% in seven annual steps.
The government has introduced draft legislation to delay increasing compulsory super for two years. If the legislation is passed, the next increase to compulsory (9.5%) super will not be until the 2016-17 financial year.
Find out more
For up-to-date information, visit How much to pay and when.
From 1 July 2013, the upper age limit for compulsory super was removed – this means no matter how old you are, if you are working and eligible, you can still grow your super.
There are limits on how much you can contribute to super before incurring extra tax.
The concessional (before tax) contributions cap for 2013-14 is $25,000.
However, if you are 60 years old or over at any time during the 2013-14 financial year, you will be able to contribute more to your super from 1 July 2013, with the concessional cap increasing from $25,000 to $35,000.
From 1 July 2014, this will also apply to people who are 50 years old or over at any time during the 2014-15 financial year.
If you go over the cap from 1 July 2013, the excess contributions will be included in your assessable income and taxed at your marginal tax rate (plus an interest charge) rather than at the top marginal tax rate.
For more information about super caps, refer to Super contributions - too much super can mean extra tax.
This tool helps you work out if you are eligible for super guarantee contributions, and calculates how much super you should be receiving from your employer.
Use the Employee superannuation guarantee (SG) calculator tool.
This tool helps you find out how to boost your super.
Use the Retirement planner toolExternal Link.
This tool helps you find out how fees the funds charge affect your payout.
Use the Superannuation calculatorExternal Link
This tool helps you find out the type of super contributions that will give you the most spending money in retirement.
Use the Super contributions optimiserExternal Link
Our superannuation home page for individuals provides a wealth of information about super, useful tools and calculators, fact sheets and tips – this is a great place to start if you want to know more about super.
Go to Individuals superannuation – home
MoneySmart is a website run by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) to help people make the right choices about their personal finances. Visit MoneySmart for free independent guidance so you can make the best choices for your money.
Go to MoneySmartExternal Link
The superannuation page on australia.gov.auExternal Link has a number of links to useful information on super and tools to help you make the most of your super.
Go to Superannuation at australia.gov.auExternal Link
The Australian Government 'More super' website has a calculator to show you how the proposed reforms to super could increase your retirement savings.
Use the Super calculatorExternal Link
As an employer, your super obligations are changing. In the future, you will have to:
To help grow Australian workers' savings for retirement, the compulsory super guarantee rate will gradually increase from 9% to 12%.
When you make super payments on behalf of your employees based on the minimum 9% super guarantee rate, you will are required to increase this rate to 9.25% on 1 July 2013.
The super guarantee rate increases to 12% over seven years, as shown in the table below.
1 July 2012
1 July 2014
1 July 2015
1 July 2016
1 July 2017
1 July 2018
1 July 2019 and onwards
For more information, read Super reform - questions and answers for employers.
To work out how much super you need to pay for each employee, use the superannuation guarantee contributions calculator.
For more information on your super guarantee obligations, refer to Employers superannuation - home.
From 1 July 2013, there is no upper age limit for making super guarantee contributions for an employee. Removal of the limit is to encourage mature workers to stay in the workforce.
This means you may need to make super guarantee payments for eligible employees aged 70 years or over.
Check if you have any employees 70 years or over who are eligible for super payments.
For those employees who are eligible, arrange to pay super contributions into their chosen fund from 1 July 2013.
For help working out if an employee is eligible for compulsory super payments, refer to Superannuation guarantee eligibility decision tool.
For more information, refer to super reform - questions and answers for employers
MySuper is a new, simple and cost-effective super product.
All employers have a nominated super fund, or ‘default fund’, where they make super guarantee payments for employees who have not selected a preferred fund (by completing a super fund - standard choice form & instructions).
From 1 January 2014, employers must make these contributions to a fund that offers a MySuper product.
Existing superannuation funds will be able to apply to APRA to offer a MySuper product. Super funds are allowed to start offering MySuper products from 1 July 2013.
A new data and e-commerce standard is being introduced to make it possible for you to send contributions to all funds in one standard electronic format. In the future, you will no longer need to provide this information to separate funds in different formats.
The standard will make processing super guarantee payments easier and result in:
Employers with 20 or more employees must use the data and e-commerce standard from 1 July 2014.
Employers with 19 or fewer employees must start using the standard from 1 July 2015.
If you prefer to process your super contributions for staff yourself, you can work with your default super fund or payroll supplier to meet the new data and e-commerce standard. Other partners, including accountants and clearing houses, will be able to help as well.
If you think your business will need to update software or systems, you should start planning now – these changes may need to be considered now in order to be ready on time.
If you are a small business with 19 or fewer employees, the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is available to help you meet your super guarantee obligations.
Register for the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House service by
phoning 1300 660 048.
For more information, refer to Super reform - questions and answers for employers.
The ATO is providing new services to make using the new data standard as fast and easy as possible. They will help:
Employers with an AUSkey have the option of using:
For more information about the data and e-commerce standard, visit ato.gov.au/datastandards
For more information on what these changes mean for your business, refer to Employers superannuation - home.
Use this decision tool to check your employees' and contractors' eligibility for super contributions.
Use the Superannuation guarantee eligibility decision tool.
Use this tool to calculate super guarantee contributions for your employees.
Use the Superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions calculator.
Use this tool if you realise you have not met your super obligations. It will help you to work out the super guarantee charge amounts you owe for your employees, and prepare the super guarantee charge statement you need to lodge with us.
Use the Superannuation guarantee charge statement and calculator tool.
Use this tool to determine whether your new or existing workers are contractors or employees.
Use the Employee/contractor decision tool.
The Small Business Super Clearing House can help you meet your super guarantee obligations.
Register for the service online through the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House website or phone 1300 660 048.
The Fair Work Ombudsman provides advice and helps you understand your workplace rights and responsibilities.
Visit their websiteExternal Link or phone 13 13 94 for information on payslip reporting and a range of record-keeping and payslip templates designed to help you meet your super obligations.
This newsletter provides tax and super information specific to small business.
Refer to the Small business newsletter.
This newsletter provides information specific to small-to-medium businesses.
Refer to current and past issues of SME Communicator.
Join our online community and participate in a variety of activities. You can also provide your views and ideas to help us improve out services.
Join the online SME community.
This newsletter, issued to employers and professional associations, gives updates about tax and super entitlements and obligations that may affect them, their employees, and members of their organisations.
Sign up for Workforce education news.
This bulletin provides information specific to large businesses, including tax and super news, plus legislative, corporate and administrative information.
Refer to the current and previous Large business bulletin.
This service will keep you up to date on key issues affecting the non-profit sector.
Go to the Non-Profit News Service.
We provide free seminars and workshops on a variety of topics delivered by experienced tax officers.
See free seminars and workshops provided by us.
MoneySmart is run by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) to help individuals and businesses make the right choices about their financial decisions.
Go to MoneySmartExternal Link.
The Australian Government's business website, business.gov.auExternal Link is a whole-of-government service providing essential information on starting and growing your business.
Go to business.gov.auExternal Link
The employer page on australia.gov.auExternal Link provides useful information on a range of topics relevant to Australian employers.
Go to australia.gov.auExternal Link
APRA supervises regulated super funds (other than self-managed super funds) and provides information relevant to the super industry.
Go to Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)External Link.
Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) play a major role in Australia’s super system. As an SMSF trustee, there will be changes to your SMSF obligations that you need to prepare for. The changes aim to increase community confidence and improve the integrity, operation and efficiency of the SMSF sector.
Rules for SMSFs investing in collectables and personal-use assets have been tightened and apply to all new investments from 1 July 2011. Trustees have until 1 July 2016 to ensure collectables and personal-use assets acquired prior to 1 July 2011 comply with the new standards or are disposed of.
The rules around SMSF trustees conducting a review of their fund's investment strategy have been tightened. From the 2012–13 income year, trustees are required to regularly review their fund's investment strategy. The review is designed to ensure that the investment strategy continues to reflect the purpose and circumstances of your fund and its members.
The minutes of meetings held during the year can provide evidence of the outcomes of the review. Also consider insurance for members as part of the investment strategy.
Trustees have always had an obligation to keep the money and other assets of the SMSF separate from those held by them personally, or by a standard employer-sponsor or an associate of a standard employer-sponsor. Stronger Super measures introduced on 7 August 2012 mean this requirement is now an operating standard, which gives us the power to enforce compliance.
A person who intentionally or recklessly contravenes the standard is guilty of an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding $11,000. A breach of this standard may also form part of our consideration in the decision to declare an SMSF non-compliant.
Trustees need to value the fund's assets at market value for the purposes of preparing financial accounts and statements. This measure was introduced in August 2012 as part of a suite of measures announced under Stronger Super.
The first time you will need to value an SMSF asset at its market value is for the 2012–13 income year accounts and statements, when you will need to determine the market value of the asset as at 30 June 2013.
Access our Valuation guidelines for self-managed super funds to assist trustees and their advisers.
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) will maintain a register of all registered SMSF auditors. From 1 July 2013, SMSF auditors must be registered with ASIC to undertake SMSF audits. All registered SMSF auditors will need to comply with competency standards and independence requirements. ASIC will be responsible for setting the competency standards, and we will monitor SMSF auditor compliance against those standards. SMSF auditors will be able to register with ASIC from 31 January 2013 – if set requirements are met, the auditor will be registered and issued with an SMSF auditor number (SAN).
The new data and e-commerce standard will provide a consistent, reliable electronic method of transacting linked data and payments for super. From 1 July 2014, all super funds, including SMSFs, must receive contributions in the standard.
From 1 January 2015, it is expected that SMSFs will be required to use the new standard for payments and receipt of rollovers. A new regulation is required to introduce this change.
For more information about the data and e-commerce standard, visit Data standards.
We currently publish annual SMSF statistical overviews which can be found on our website by searching for 'SMSF statistics'. The overviews are intended to give SMSF trustees and the super industry a more comprehensive set of statistics to improve their understanding of the sector and its performance.
We continue to consult with SMSF and other industry professionals to gain a better understanding of the statistical needs of industry.
The Government is considering a number of other proposals, including:
The changes to SMSFs are subject to consultation.
For more information, talk to your tax agent or visit Self-managed super funds - home.
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