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  • Super guarantee opt out for high income earners with multiple employers

    From 1 January 2020, eligible individuals with multiple employers can apply to opt out of receiving super guarantee (SG) from some of their employers. This will help you avoid unintentionally going over the concessional contributions cap.

    You may be eligible to opt out if you:

    • have more than one employer, and
    • expect your employers' mandated concessional super contributions to exceed your concessional contributions cap for a financial year.

    Submit the SG opt out for high income earners with multiple employers form (NAT 75067) to apply for an SG employer shortfall exemption certificate. The certificate releases one or more of your employers from their SG obligations for up to four quarters in one financial year. You'll still need to receive SG contributions from at least one of your employers for each of those quarters.

    The exemption certificate means the employer will not be liable for the super guarantee charge (SGC) if they don't make SG contributions on your behalf for the quarters covered by the certificate. It is important to talk to your employer before applying as they can choose to disregard an exemption certificate and continue to make SG contributions.

    This measure may not benefit everyone who's eligible. Consider your employment arrangements, such as how your pay and other entitlements may change and the effect of any relevant award or workplace agreement applicable to you. Your accountant or tax agent may provide you with further advice based upon your circumstances.

    Find out about:

    Applying for an exemption certificate

    An application for an SG employer shortfall exemption certificate:

    • must be made by the employee to be covered by the certificate – an employer cannot apply for an exemption certificate
    • can only be made in respect of current employers
    • must be lodged in the approved form at least 60 days before the first day of the first quarter that the application relates to.

    When you need to apply

    To give eligible employees time to make an application following the commencement of this measure, we will accept applications for the 2019–20 financial year as follows:

    • third quarter commencing 1 January 2020 – lodge on or before 18 November 2019
    • fourth quarter commencing 1 April 2020 – lodge on or before 31 January 2020.

    An exemption certificate can be for a period of up to four quarters in one financial year. A separate application is required for each financial year.

    Next steps:

    Issuing an exemption certificate

    We will only issue you with an exemption certificate if:

    • you are likely to exceed your concessional contributions cap for the financial year that includes the relevant quarters for which an exemption is sought
    • after issuing the certificate, you will still have at least one employer obliged to make mandated SG contributions for your benefit in each quarter covered in the exemption certificate
    • it is appropriate to issue the certificate in the circumstances.

    When considering your application, we will take into account the effect of any other certificates already issued to you for the financial year.

    We will also consider whether the combination of certificates sought is the most appropriate for your circumstances. We will take into account the level of concessional contributions that would continue to be received if the combination of certificates was approved.

    If we decide to issue an exemption certificate, we will issue a written notice to:

    • the employee that made the application
    • each employer that is covered by the certificate.

    Once issued, the exemption certificate cannot be varied or revoked.

    If we decline your application, we will notify you of the decision. We are not required to inform your employers.

    If you're dissatisfied with our decision, you may object.

    See also:

    What an employer needs to know

    Employees are encouraged to discuss the effect of the exemption certificate with their employers before applying.

    Where an application by an employee to opt out of receiving SG contributions from one or more of their employers is successful, we'll issue an SG shortfall exemption certificate to the covered employers.

    An employer that's covered by an exemption certificate for a particular employee for a specified quarter has a maximum contribution base of $0 for that employee for that quarter.

    This means the employer will not be liable for the SGC (or face other consequences under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992) if they do not make contributions on behalf of the employee for the exempted period.

    The exemption certificate:

    • does not prevent the employer from making super contributions on behalf of the employee
    • does not change the employer's obligations under a workplace award or agreement, or an employer's agreement with their super fund
    • cannot be varied or revoked once it's issued.

    The employer may agree to an alternative remuneration package with their employee. They will have certainty that the exemption cannot later be withdrawn to the employer’s disadvantage.

    See also:

      Last modified: 24 Oct 2019QC 60265