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How to pay super

Employers must make super guarantee contributions to their employees’ complying funds or retirement savings accounts.

Last updated 25 May 2021

Super guarantee (SG) contributions are payments employers must make to their employees' complying funds or retirement savings accounts to avoid the SG charge.

How to pay

Pay employee SG contributions electronically to either a:

  • complying super fund: a fund that meets specific requirements and obligations under super law
  • retirement savings account (RSA): an account that provides a low cost and low risk savings strategy for retirement.

Report payments electronically through:

You must ensure the fund or RSA meets rules on:

You must pay SG contributions by the quarterly due dates – 28 days after the end of each quarter to avoid the SG charge.

Eligible small businesses can pay super for their employees through the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.

Some super funds require employers to contribute monthly. By registering with these funds, you agree to make monthly contributions to that fund.

Award obligations

Some industrial awards require employers to pay super contributions to a specific super fund. Make sure you check if this affects your employees.

Personal super contributions

You can arrange to make post-tax super payments on behalf of your employees. These payments are personal super contributions.

You must make these contributions according to:

  • the employee's terms of employment
  • legal requirements
  • industrial award conditions.

Your employee's personal super contributions don't count towards your SG obligations.

Check for complying super funds

You can use Super Fund LookupExternal Link to check if a fund is compliant.

If they are not listed, you can get written confirmation from the fund's trustee.

Written confirmation must state that the fund:

  • is a complying super fund
  • intends to accept your super contributions
  • will continue to meet the relevant legal requirements.

If the fund fails to comply, written confirmation will protect you from penalties.

If you pay contributions to a non-complying super fund, the contributions:

  • won't count towards meeting your SG obligations
  • won't be tax-deductible
  • may incur a fringe benefits tax (FBT) liability.

Claim a tax deduction

SG contributions you make for your employees are tax deductible. You can only claim the deduction in the financial year payments are made.

To claim a deduction, a contribution must be made:

  • in accordance with an industrial award or agreement
  • to reduce the liability of the SG charge
  • 28 days after a person turns 75.

Missed or late super payments may incur the SG charge. The SG charge is not tax deductible.

You can make a late payment:

  • to reduce the super guarantee charge
  • as pre-payment of a future super contribution (for the same employee).


Example: timing of super payments affects tax deduction claim year

Malia has 5 employees. In 2019, she wanted to claim a tax deduction for SG contributions made in 2017–18.

To do this, Malia needed to pay SG contributions to her employee's complying funds or RSAs by 30 June 2018 (end of the financial year).

However, Malia did not pay the SG contributions for the fourth quarter of 2017–18 until 5 July 2018.

Therefore, Malia could not claim these fourth quarter contributions as tax deductions until the next financial year (2018–19).

End of example


SuperStream is a standard requiring all employers to provide payments and related data to super funds electronically.

How eligible employers can pay super for their employees through the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.