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  • Module 5: Paying super contributions

    This module covers what you need to know to pay your compulsory super guarantee contributions for your eligible employees, namely:

    You need to pay and report super electronically to ensure it meets SuperStream requirements.

    Check what you've learned in the Summary of Module 5.

    Due dates for super payments

    Super guarantee payments must be made to complying super funds or RSAs by the quarterly due dates, which are 28 days after the end of each quarter (see the table below).

    You pay super contributions for eligible employees calculated from the day they start employment with you. You must make the payments at least four times a year, by the quarterly due dates. These quarterly due dates are also known as super guarantee due dates.

    Quarterly payment due dates for super payments

    Quarter

    Period

    Payment due date

    1

    1 July – 30 September

    28 October

    2

    1 October – 31 December

    28 January

    3

    1 January – 31 March

    28 April

    4

    1 April – 30 June

    28 July

    When a due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, you can make the payment on the next working day.

    You can make payments more regularly than quarterly if you want to (for example, fortnightly or monthly), as long as your total super guarantee obligation for the quarter is paid by the due date.

    Member personal super contributions

    If you arrange with your employee to make after-tax super contributions on their behalf, the payments are referred to as personal super contributions. Make sure you pay these contributions promptly, in accordance with the employee's terms of employment and any legal requirement (for example, industrial award conditions).

    Members' after-tax personal super contributions don't count towards your super guarantee obligations.

    Other contractual requirements

    Some super funds, awards and contracts require super to be paid more regularly (for example, monthly). When you register with a super fund with this requirement, you are agreeing to make contributions to that super fund on that basis, be it monthly or otherwise.

    Meeting the super guarantee requirement does not ensure you automatically comply with other requirements.

    SuperStream payment options

    Under SuperStream, you need to pay super contributions for your employees electronically (electronic funds transfer or BPAY®) and send the associated data electronically.

    The data is in a standard format so it can be transmitted consistently across the superannuation system – between employers, funds, service providers and the ATO. It is linked to the payment by a unique payment reference number.

    This means you can make all your contributions in a single transaction, even if they are going to multiple super funds.

    To meet the SuperStream requirements, you need to pay super and send employee information electronically. You can use:

    You can also ask your accountant or bookkeeper to help you with one of these options.

    If the only contributions you make are personal contributions for yourself or contributions to a related self-managed super fund (SMSF), you don't need to use SuperStream because these are excepted contributions.

    Payroll system

    If you use a payroll system, check with your software provider that it is SuperStream-compliant. You may need to update your software.

    Some payroll systems cover data and payments and some are data only; which means you may need to make payments to each fund separately. Either way, the payment must be electronic (electronic funds transfer or BPAY®).

    Single Touch Payroll

    The introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP) means that the ATO receives payroll information (tax and super) on a payroll-event basis (weekly, fortnightly, monthly, other) through STP-enabled software.

    Once an employer is STP-enabled, there are a range of employer benefits. For example:

    • some employer-related ATO forms (such as the TFN declaration and Super standard choice form) are available via ATO online services in myGov
    • employee payroll information (tax and super paid on their behalf) is also available to employees via ATO online services in myGov.

    Reporting using STP became compulsory from 1 July 2018 for employers that employ over 20 employees. There is a transition period available for those who requested deferrals.

    STP becomes compulsory for employers with 19 or fewer employees from 1 July 2019, with a transition period also available to those requesting deferrals.

    See also:

    Your super fund's online system

    Large super funds have online payment services you can use. Check with your super fund.

    Super clearing house

    A clearing house pays super to your employees' super funds for you. You send a single electronic payment to the clearing house together with the contribution data for all your employees, and the clearing house does the rest.

    If you have 19 or fewer employees, or a turnover of less than $10 million a year, you can use the free Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.

    You can also choose from several commercial options or your super fund may have a clearing house you can use. Talk to your super fund to see what they offer.

    Remember, even if you outsource some parts of making super contributions, you're still responsible for ensuring your employees' super contributions are paid correctly.

    If you use a clearing house, the employee's super contribution is counted as being paid on the date the super fund receives it, not the date the clearing house receives it from you. Check with your clearing house to make sure you allow enough time for your payments to be processed before the quarterly due dates.

    Small Business Superannuation Clearing House

    The Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH) is a free service you can use if you are a business with:

    • 19 or fewer employees, or
    • an annual aggregated turnover of less than $10 million.

    You can make your super guarantee contributions as a single electronic payment to the SBSCH. It will then distribute the payments to each employee's super fund. It is SuperStream compliant.

    The SBSCH is accessed via the ATO's Business Portal, Tax Agent Portal, BAS Agent Portal or ATO online services in myGov.

    You can use the SBSCH flow chart (PDF 171KB)This link will download a file to work out which online service best suits your situation. The flow chart includes links to step-by-step guides to help you get access.

    See also:

    Messaging portal

    A messaging portal can convert contribution data for your employees to a SuperStream compliant format and send it to the relevant funds for you. You still need to make one electronic payment. Talk to your messaging portal provider and financial institution.

    Summary of Module 5

    Remember, when paying super contributions:

    • Pay by the due dates of 28 October, 28 January, 28 April, and 28 July.
    • You need to pay and report electronically to be SuperStream compliant.
    • There are a number of SuperStream methods of payment. Pick the one that best suits your business.
    • If you employ 19 or fewer employees, or have an aggregated annual turnover of less than $10 million, you can use the free SBSCH.
      Last modified: 09 Apr 2019QC 58510