• Super guarantee client health check

    Paying superannuation is an important part of being an employer. The super guarantee (SG) client health check has been developed to help tax professionals quickly check that their clients are meeting their super obligations, and if not, where to go to help them get back on track.

    It's important that businesses employing staff understand that super provides income for their workers in retirement – it's not another tax nor is it government revenue.

    Next step:

    Questions for your clients

    Do you know that super contributions are tax deductible if you meet the SG requirements?

    A tax deduction can be claimed for super payments made to an employee's super fund in the financial year they are paid. If the payment due on 28 July isn't made by 30 June, the deduction can't be claimed until the next financial year.

    Super contributions are considered paid when they are received by the super fund.

    See also:

    Checking you are paying super to all of your eligible workers

    Do you know which of your employees are eligible for SG?

    Generally, if you pay an employee $450 or more before tax in a calendar month they are eligible for SG.

    There are special conditions for contract workers and employees under 18.

    Some contractors, even if they have their own ABN, may still be eligible for super payments.

    Company directors who receive payments in their capacity as a director are eligible for SG contributions as the company is their employer for SG purposes.

    See also:

    Checking you are paying the right amount of super

    Are you paying a minimum of 9.5% of SG to your eligible employees?

    SG is paid on ordinary time earnings (OTE). OTE is generally what employees earn for their ordinary hours of work. It includes commissions, shift loadings and allowances, but not overtime payments.

    Some awards have a higher rate and different conditions, so it is important to check this. However, if an award stipulates a rate of super less than 9.5% you must still meet the minimum 9.5% of OTE requirement.

    See also:

    Checking you are paying on time

    Do you know when super has to be paid?

    For most funds the deadlines are quarterly – 28 July, 28 October, 28 January and 28 April. However, some funds require monthly payments, so it is important to check with each fund.

    You can consider paying more frequently, for instance as part of the payroll cycle. Making more regular payments may make it easier to meet your obligations and manage your cash flow.

    See also:

    Checking you are paying super to the right place

    Do you know that your employees have the option of choosing their own super fund (rather than going with your default fund)?

    Most employees are eligible to choose the super fund that their SG is paid into. Check their award and provide each eligible employee with a super choice form.

    If you haven't received an employee’s completed choice form and the SG contribution is due, you must make the payment to your default fund by the due date.

    Next step:

    Checking you are paying super in the right way – using SuperStream

    Are you paying the SuperStream way?

    Payment methods must meet the SuperStream requirements to pay electronically (electronic funds transfer or BPAY®) and send the related data electronically. All businesses should now be SuperStream compliant.

    The Small Business Super Clearing House is a free service for businesses with 19 or fewer employees. You make SG contributions as a single electronic payment and the clearing house distributes the payments to your employees' super funds.

    See also:

    Ensuring you are keeping records

    Do you keep records to show that you have met your SG obligations?

    You must keep records for five years showing how much SG you paid and how it was calculated. Records must also show you offered each employee a choice of super fund.

    See also:

    Have you made a mistake in meeting your super obligations?

    We offer help and support to employers that want to do the right thing and willingly participate in the system. If a mistake is made, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

    Employers that continually fail to comply or are deliberately doing the wrong thing may be subject to penalties.

    Penalties exist to make it fair for the majority of businesses that are doing the right thing.

    See also:

      Last modified: 21 Aug 2017QC 51409