• Introducing your super

    Introduction

    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.

    Individuals

    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.

    Employers

    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.

    Other languages

    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.

    Individuals

    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.

    Keeping track of your super is easier

    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:

    • check all your super accounts
    • find lost super – there are billions in lost super dollars; see if some of it is yours
    • find ATO-held super – if the government, your super fund or your employer can't find an account to transfer your super to, we hold it on your behalf
    • transfer your super into the super account you want, using an online form. If this is a fund-to-fund transfer, it will generally be actioned within three working days.

    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.

    Find out more

    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.

    End of find out more

    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.

    Find out more

    On super money we hold, refer to ATO-held super.

    End of find out more

    Check your address is correct

    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.

    Transferring money to a new super account

    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).

    Your TFN is the key

    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:

    • your fund will pay (and pass on to you) less tax on employer contributions
    • you are less likely to lose a super account
    • you will be able to make personal contributions to the fund.

    If you don't provide your TFN to your fund, but have previously provided it to another fund, we will provide your TFN for you.

     

    Work it out

    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.

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    More super for your future

    Two changes mean you will have more super for your future:

    • increasing the employers' contribution from 9% to 12%
    • removal of the upper age limit.

    Increasing the compulsory super rate

    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.

    Year

    Rate

    2012-13

    9.00%

    Current rate

    9.25%

    2014–15

    9.50%

    2015–16

    10.00%

    2016–17

    10.50%

    2017–18

    11.00%

    2018–19

    11.50%

    2019–20

    12.00%

    Attention

    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.

    End of attention

    Find out more

    For up-to-date information, visit How much to pay and when.

    End of find out more

    Upper age limit removed

    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.

    Making it fairer for everyone

    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.

    Find out more

    For more information about super caps, refer to:

    End of find out more

    More information

    Web-based tools and calculators

    Employee superannuation guarantee (SG) calculator tool

    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.

    Work it out

    Use the Employee superannuation guarantee (SG) calculator tool.

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    Retirement planner

    This tool helps you find out how to boost your super.

    Work it out

    Use the Retirement planner tool.

    End of work it out
    Superannuation calculator

    This tool helps you find out how fees the funds charge affect your payout.

    Work it out

    Use the Superannuation calculator

    End of work it out
    Super contributions optimiser

    This tool helps you find out the type of super contributions that will give you the most spending money in retirement.

    Work it out

    Use the Super contributions optimiser

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    Useful websites

    Individuals superannuation home

    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.

    Work it out

    Go to Individuals superannuation – home

    End of work it out
    MoneySmart

    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.

    Work it out

    Go to MoneySmartExternal Link

    End of work it out
    Superannuation

    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.

    Work it out

    Go to Superannuation at australia.gov.auExternal Link

    End of work it out
    More super

    The Australian Government 'More super' website has a calculator to show you how the proposed reforms to super could increase your retirement savings.

    Work it out

    Use the Super calculator

    End of work it out

    Employers

    As an employer, your super obligations are changing. In the future, you will have to:

    • progressively increase the rate you use to work out the super guarantee payments you make for your employees (gradually from 9% to 12%)
    • make super guarantee payments for eligible employees aged 70 years or over
    • follow the SuperStream standard when making super contributions on behalf of your employees
    • ensure you are using a default fund that is registered by Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to offer a MySuper product.

    Changes to the super guarantee rate

    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 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.

    Year

    Rate

    1 July 2012

    9.00%

    Current rate

    9.25%

    1 July 2014

    9.50%

    1 July 2015

    10.00%

    1 July 2016

    10.50%

    1 July 2017

    11.00%

    1 July 2018

    11.50%

    1 July 2019 and onwards

    12.00%

    Attention

    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.

    End of attention

    Find out more

    For up-to-date information, visit How much to pay and when.

    End of find out more

    What you need to do

    • Update your payroll and accounting systems to apply the appropriate increase to the super guarantee rate.
    • From 1 July 2014, increase the rate you use to work out the super guarantee payments you make for your employees from 9.25% to 9.50%.
    • Continue to increase the rate you use to work out the super guarantee payments you make for your employees each year until 1 July 2019.
    • If you have 19 or fewer employees, consider using the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (see SuperStream) to help you meet your super guarantee obligations.

    Find out more

    Read Super reform - questions and answers for employers.

    End of find out more

    Work it out

    To work out how much super you need to pay for each employee, use the superannuation guarantee contributions calculator.

    End of work it out

    Find out more

    On your super guarantee obligations, refer to Employers superannuation - home.

    End of find out more

    Removal of super guarantee upper age limit

    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.

    What you need to do

    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.

    End of help

     

    Find out more

    Refer to super reform - questions and answers for employers

    End of find out more

    MySuper

    MySuper is a new, simple and cost-effective super product that will replace existing default products.

    From 1 January 2014, employers must make these contributions to a fund that offers a MySuper product.

    What does MySuper mean for employers?

    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 standard choice form).

    Throughout 2013 super funds have been obtaining authorisation for the new MySuper products. Funds are advising employers of arrangements for paying their super guarantee contributions.

    What you need to do

    Check your existing default fund arrangements. Has your default fund contacted you to advise you of their MySuper arrangements?

    If you haven't heard from your default super fund, contact them now.

    If you need to find other authorised MySuper funds, visit APRAExternal Link.

    Find out more

    For more information about your super obligations, refer to the Guide to superannuation for employers.

    For more information, refer to super reform - questions and answers for employers

    End of find out more

    SuperStream standard

    The SuperStream 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.

    SuperStream will make processing super guarantee payments easier and result in:

    • fewer data-quality issues
    • a simpler, more consistent contribution process
    • fewer lost accounts and less unclaimed money
    • faster processing of employees' money into their super accounts
    • lower overall processing costs.

    Employers with 20 or more employees will begin using the SuperStream standard from 1 July 2014.

    Employers with 19 or fewer employees will begin using SuperStream from 1 July 2015.

    What you need to do

    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 SuperStream 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.

    Get it done

    Register for the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House service by

    End of get it done

    Find out more

    Refer to Super reform - questions and answers for employers.

    End of find out more

    Helping you adopt the standard: validation services

    The ATO is providing new services to make using SuperStream as fast and easy as possible. They will help:

    • employers ensure their employees’ details are correct before a contribution is made, preventing lost and delayed contributions
    • employers and funds verify members and destination details, speeding up the contribution and rollover process and preventing errors.

    Employers with an AUSkey have the option of using:

    • Employer Tax File Number Integrity Check (Employer TICK) – this is a single web service and a bulk service for employers to validate an employee’s details, which will be available from 1 July 2014.
    • Fund Validation Service – this service will allow employers and funds to check a super fund's ABN, product identifiers, bank account details and email addresses to support electronic payments and messages in the new standard (from 1 July 2014).

     

    Find out more

    About the data and e-commerce standard, visit ato.gov.au/datastandards

    End of find out more

    More information

    Find out more

    On what these changes mean for your business, refer to Employers superannuation - home.

    End of find out more

    Watch

    To find out more about some of the recent changes to the super guarantee, watch Deputy Commissioner Steve Vesperman on Kochie's Business BuildersExternal Link.

    End of watch

    Web-based tools and calculators

    Superannuation guarantee eligibility decision tool

    Use this decision tool to check your employees' and contractors' eligibility for super contributions.

    Work it out

    Use the Superannuation guarantee eligibility decision tool.

    End of work it out
    Superannuation guarantee contributions calculator

    Use this tool to calculate super guarantee contributions for your employees.

    Work it out

    Use the Superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions calculator.

    End of work it out
    Superannuation guarantee charge statement and calculator tool

    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.

    Employee/contractor decision tool

    Use this tool to determine whether your new or existing workers are contractors or employees.

    Work it out

    Use the Employee/contractor decision tool.

    End of work it out

    Helping you to meet your super obligations

    Small Business Super Clearing House

    The Small Business Super Clearing House can help you meet your super guarantee obligations.

    Get it done

    Register for the service online through the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House website or phone 1300 660 048.

    End of get it done
    Fair Work Ombudsman

    The Fair Work Ombudsman provides advice and helps you understand your workplace rights and responsibilities.

    Find out more

    Visit their website 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.

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    Our newsletters and seminars

    Small business newsletter

    This newsletter provides tax and super information specific to small business.

    Find out more

    Refer to the Small business newsletter.

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    SME Communicator

    This newsletter provides information specific to small-to-medium businesses.

    Find out more

    Refer to current and past issues of SME Communicator.

    End of find out more
    Online SME community

    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.

    Find out more

    Join the online SME community.

    End of find out more
    Workforce education news

    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.

    Find out more

    Sign up for Workforce education news.

    End of find out more
    Large business bulletin

    This bulletin provides information specific to large businesses, including tax and super news, plus legislative, corporate and administrative information.

    Find out more

    Refer to the current and previous Large business bulletin.

    End of find out more
    Non-Profit News Service

    This service will keep you up to date on key issues affecting the non-profit sector.

    Find out more

    Go to the Non-Profit News Service.

    End of find out more
    Speakers and seminars

    We provide free seminars and workshops on a variety of topics delivered by experienced tax officers.

    Find out more

    See free seminars and workshops provided by us.

    End of find out more

    Useful websites

    MoneySmart

    MoneySmart is run by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) to help individuals and businesses make the right choices about their financial decisions.

    Find out more

    Go to MoneySmartExternal Link.

    End of find out more
    Business.gov.au

    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.

    Find out more

    Go to business.gov.auExternal Link

    End of find out more
    Australia.gov.au

    The employer page on australia.gov.auExternal Link provides useful information on a range of topics relevant to Australian employers.

    Find out more

    Go to australia.gov.auExternal Link

    End of find out more
    Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

    APRA supervises regulated super funds (other than self-managed super funds) and provides information relevant to the super industry.

    Find out more

    Go to Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)External Link.

    End of find out more

    SMSF trustees

    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.

    Investing in collectables and personal-use assets

    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.

    Review your SMSF investment strategy

    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.

    Separation of your money and assets from the fund

    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.

    Valuation of fund assets at market value

    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.

    Attention

    Access our Valuation guidelines for self-managed super funds to assist trustees and their advisers.

    End of attention

    Approved SMSF auditors

    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 SuperStream standard

    SuperStream 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.

    Find out more

    About the SuperStream standard, visit SuperStream.

    End of find out more

    SMSF statistics

    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.

    Other proposed changes

    The Government is considering a number of other proposals, including:

    • changes to the rules relating to acquisitions and disposals between related parties in SMSFs as well as how assets are bought and sold
    • greater powers for us to regulate SMSFs and deal with people who promote the illegal release of super
    • changes to SMSF registration and rollover processes to require proof of identity (POI) checks and validation of the SMSF's bank account when establishing an SMSF, and also for members wanting to rollover to the SMSF.

    The changes to SMSFs are subject to consultation.

    More information

    Find out more

    Talk to your tax agent or visit Self-managed super funds - home.

    End of find out more
    • Last modified: 16 Apr 2014QC 27319