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  • Super for employees working overseas – certificate of coverage

    If you send an Australian employee to work temporarily in another country, you must continue to pay superannuation contributions in Australia for them. You or your employee may also be required to pay super (or equivalent) in the other country.

    Australia has international social security agreements with some countries to address 'double superannuation coverage'. You can apply to us for a certificate of coverage, which will require you to continue paying super in Australia for your employee and exempt you (or your employee) from super or social security obligations in the other country. The government authorities in the other country may require you to show a copy of the certificate of coverage for the exemption.

    Employers who send employees from a foreign country to Australia can apply for a certificate of coverage from the government authorities in their home country to be exempt from paying super in Australia. We may ask to see a copy of the certificate. Without a certificate, the employer must pay super in Australia.

    Example: Australian employee working in the US

    Jack is an Australian resident working in Australia for an Australian employer. His employer sends him to work in the United States for one year. Under US law, Jack and his employer must pay compulsory social security (covering super) contributions. In addition, Jack's employer must still pay super guarantee for Jack in Australia.

    The agreement between Australia and the US means Jack and his employer don't need to pay contributions under US law. Jack's employer requests a certificate of coverage from us to be given the US exemption. Jack's employer continues to make super contributions for Jack in Australia.

    Similarly, a US employee, Mac, is sent to work temporarily in Australia. Mac doesn't have to pay super under Australia's super guarantee laws. A certificate of coverage issued by the US authorities allows his employer to pay contributions solely under the US system.

    End of example

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      Last modified: 06 Mar 2020QC 16526